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Press Release

Albuquerque man pleads guilty to possession of child pornography and making false claims against the government

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Investigation of former Sandia Labs contractor led to discovery of child sexual abuse material

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Bobby Peña, 46, of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty on Feb. 10 in federal court to possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and false claims against the government. A federal grand jury indicted Peña on Oct. 9, 2019.

According to the plea agreement and other court records, Peña was the owner and sole operator of De La Peña LLC. From May 2008 to June 2017, Peña worked as a subcontractor to Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, and entered into a contract with SNL and the United States Department of Energy to provide specialized cleaning services, including air particle count monitoring and cleanroom cleaning services, for three buildings at SNL.

Between July 1, 2015, and Feb. 28, 2017, Peña fraudulently submitted invoices totaling $47,025 for air particle count monitoring and $6,000 for cleanroom cleaning services that had not been performed. In the plea agreement, Peña admitted to fraudulently submitting invoices for an additional $14,850 for air particle count monitoring and $2,250 for cleanroom cleaning services.  Peña received a total of $70,125 from the Department of Energy for services for which he had fraudulently invoiced SNL but had not performed.

In connection with the investigation into Peña’s illegal activities, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the De La Peña business address on Dec. 13, 2017. During the search, investigators seized several electronic devices, including three external hard drives. Forensic analysis of the devices revealed approximately 3,972 images and 58 videos of child pornography, material that included depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The false claims charges carry a statutory maximum of up to five years in prison and up to three years of supervised release. Peña faces a statutory maximum of up to 20 years in prison and a minimum of five years and up to life of supervised release for possession of child pornography.

The Department of Energy Office of the Inspector General investigated this case.

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Updated February 15, 2022

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 22-33