Foreign National Indicted for Allegedly Receiving and Possessing Child Pornography and Possessing Counterfeit Green Card
Spokane, Washington – Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that a Federal grand jury indicted Orlando Baires-Cartagena for receiving and possessing child pornography and possessing a counterfeit Permanent Resident Card. A Permanent Resident Card, also known as a Green Card, is issued as proof that a foreign national is authorized to live and work in the United States. Baires-Cartagena was arrested and made his initial appearance on April 3, 2019, before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Rodgers in Federal Court in Spokane, Washington. Judge Rodgers ordered Baires-Cartagena detained pending trial.
According to allegations in the child pornography Indictment, Baires-Cartagena received images depicting minor and prepubescent children engaging in sexually explicit conduct and possessed visual depictions of child pornography, including images of prepubescent minors and minors who had not attained the age of twelve years old engaging in sexually explicit conduct. If convicted, the receipt of child pornography charge carries a maximum penalty of not less than 5 years nor more than 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a term of court supervision of not less than 5 years nor more than life, and a special assessment of $5,000. The possession of child pornography charge carries a maximum penalty 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, up to a lifetime term of court supervision, and a special assessment of $5,000. Baires-Cartagena also would be required to register as a sex offender.
According to the allegation in the immigration fraud Indictment, Baires-Cartagena possessed a counterfeit Permanent Resident Card in the name of “Orlando Baires” that he knew to be forged, counterfeited and falsely made. If convicted, Baires-Cartagena faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of court supervision after release.
Joseph H. Harrington said, “These Indictments demonstrate the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is committed to pursuing aggressively those accused of child pornography offenses and to protecting the integrity of the immigration process -- possessing a counterfeit immigration document circumvents the immigration laws and undermines confidence in the system. The charges contained in the Indictments are merely allegations. Baires-Cartagena is presumed innocent, as is any defendant in a criminal case, until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
The child pornography investigation was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:
· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;
· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;
· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;
· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and
· Community awareness and educational programs.
The charges contained in the Indictments are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Southeast Regional ICAC Task Force, the United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, and Moses Lake Police Department. The cases are being prosecuted by James Goeke and Matthew Duggan, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.