News and Press Releases

MIAMI MAN CHARGED WITH PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2010

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael Fithen, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, Miami Field Division, announced the indictment of Edgar Geovani Esquivel Castillo on child pornography charges.

Castillo, 29, of Guatemala, who most recently resided in Miami, was indicted on charges of producing child pornography, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 2251(a); and of possessing child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(4)(B).

Castillo was arrested in Miami on February 16, 2010, pursuant to a criminal complaint charging him with the production of child pornography. Following his initial appearance on February 17, 2010, U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter R. Palermo ordered Castillo held without bond pending his trial. Castillo’s arraignment is set for 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 2, 2010.

On February 8, 2010, a concerned citizen responded to the City of Miami Police Department with a microSD memory card containing several videos of a man fitting Castillo’s description engaging in sexually explicit activity with a minor child. A subsequent investigation led state, local, and federal law enforcement officers to Castillo who matched the man appearing in the videos with the minor child. Law enforcement officers have to date identified four of the victims appearing in these videos. The victims’ ages range from four years to thirteen years of age.

If convicted, Castillo faces a minimum sentence of fifteen years imprisonment and a maximum sentence life imprisonment.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the City of Miami Police Department Special Victims Unit, the Hialeah Police Department Special Victims Unit, and the Pembroke Pines Police Department who were instrumental in identifying Castillo and his victims. Mr. Sloman also commends the efforts of the Miami Beach Police Department Special Victims Unit, the Miami Dade Police Department Sex Crimes Bureau, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Maria K. Medetis.

An Indictment is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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