Albuquerque Man Arrested on Federal Child Enticement Charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Raymond Berger, 32, of Albuquerque, N.M., was arrested today by agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on an indictment charging him with enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity. Berger made his initial appearance in federal court this morning and is temporarily detained pending his arraignment and a detention hearing, both of which are scheduled for June 24, 2013.
The indictment alleges that between May 2, 2013 and May 6, 2013, Berger used Craigslist and a cellular telephone to coerce and entice an individual whom he believed to be a minor to engage in sexual activity. Berger allegedly committed the offense in Bernalillo County, N.M. Berger was arrested on state charges of solicitation of a child with an electronic communications devise on May 6, 2013.
If convicted on the federal charge, Berger faces a mandatory ten year prison sentence and a maximum penalty of life in prison. The indictment against Berger is merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Sexual Predator and Exploitation Enforcement (SPEED) Task Force, which is comprised of HSI, the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlyn E. Rees as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
The case also was brought as part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 64 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.