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Press Release

Elyria man arrested on child pornography charges after search for missing juvenile

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

On April 18, 2019, Jeremy L. Cruz, 39, of Elyria, was taken into custody by Cleveland Division FBI agents, and Sheffield and Avon Lake Police Department officers at a residence in Sheffield Lake, Ohio.

Santa Maria Police Department, in California, asked the public for assistance in a missing 14 year old juvenile case, she had been missing since April 15th.  Through initial investigative work, Santa Maria Police Department determined the missing juvenile had been communicating with an adult male she had met online, the adult male was soon identified as Jeremy Cruz of Elyria. 

On April 18th, at approximately 3:30am, law enforcement located Cruz at a family member’s residence in Sheffield Lake.  The missing juvenile was also present.  Cruz was placed into custody without incident and transported to the Sheffield Lake Police Department.  The juvenile female was reunited with her family in California.

Law enforcement conducted a digital forensic examination of Cruz’s cellular phone and discovered numerous photos of what is believed to be child pornography. 

Cruz has been held in local custody since April 18th and was transferred to federal custody this morning.  He has been charged with interstate transport of child pornography.  He will have his initial appearance this afternoon in U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan D. Greenberg’s courtroom.

This case was investigated by the Santa Maria Police Department, FBI – Los Angeles Division, Sheffield Lake Police Department, Avon Lake Police Department, Elyria Police Department, Lorain Police Department and the Cleveland Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office – Northern District of Ohio.

A charge 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.

Updated April 26, 2019

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