U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
December 20, 2012
Providence Man Detained for Allegedly Traveling to the Dominican Republic to Produce Child Pornography
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Juan Carlos Santiago, 35, of Providence, R.I., was ordered detained today by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond on federal charges of possession and distribution of child pornography, and traveling outside of the United States to produce child pornography.
Santiago was arrested earlier today by agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) - ICE and members of the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. An investigation by the Task Force revealed images and videos allegedly produced in the Dominican Republic of Santiago allegedly engaged in sexual contact with minors, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of HSI-ICE; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
According to an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant filed with the court, in May 2012, a Special Agent with the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service assigned to the ICAC Task Force, while conducting an online Internet investigation focused on identifying users who allegedly possessed and traded child pornography, observed an IP address at Santiago’s residence from which child pornography files were allegedly being traded. The agent successfully downloaded two files from the IP address which allegedly contained child pornography.
On October 26, 2012, ICAC Task Force agents and members of the Rhode Island State Police conducted a court authorized search of Santiago’s residence, and seized two computers, digital storage devices, a digital camera and assorted CDs and DVDs. A forensic examination of the equipment by a Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Digital Forensic Analyst revealed numerous images of Santiago allegedly engaged in sexual activity with a prepubescent male. Based on GPS coordinates embedded inside the photographs discovered by the analyst, agents determined that the images were allegedly taken in the Dominican Republic.
Further investigation by an agent from HSI-ICE revealed that Santiago made several trips to the Dominican Republic, including on or about the same dates some of the images allegedly depicting child pornography and Santiago were created.
Santiago is charged with one count each of being a U.S. Citizen and traveling outside the country to engage in illicit sexual conduct with another person; employing, using, persuading, inducing, enticing, or coercing a minor to engage in any sexually explicit conduct outside the United States; possession of child pornography; and, distribution of child pornography.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adi Goldstein.
The matter was investigated by the ICAC Task Force, Rhode Island State Police and HSI-ICE.
The ICAC Task Force is a Department of Justice grant-funded program administered by the Rhode Island State Police, and is comprised of detectives from the Rhode Island State Police; Providence, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick, Johnston, and Pawtucket Police Departments; and federal agents from ICE-HSI, United States Postal Inspectors’ Office and United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The objective of the ICAC Task Force is to form strong working relationships among federal, state and local law enforcement in order to effectively and efficiently prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute online child exploitation and child pornography crimes.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”