Mercer County Man Charged Producing Child Pornography
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Mercer County, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on four charges of production of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The four-count indictment, returned on Feb. 29, 2012, and unsealed yesterday, named Armando Cruz, 43, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment, on or about March 6, 2011, April 21, 2011, and June 12, 2011, in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Cruz employed, used, persuaded, induced, enticed, and coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 120 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood. Launched in February 2006, Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys' Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.