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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Monday, July 15, 2013

Albuquerque Man to Serve Ninety Months in Federal Prison for Child Pornography Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE –James Carney Ritterhoff, 40, of Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced this morning to 90 months in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for his child pornography charges.  Ritterhoff will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.  The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Special Agent in Charge Dennis A. Ulrich, II, of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Texas.

Ritterhoff is a former Aurora, Mo., police officer who was employed as an armed money courier in Albuquerque when he was arrested in June 2011, on a criminal complaint alleging child exploitation and pornography charges.  He has been in federal custody since his arrest.  In July 2011, Ritterhoff was charged in a seven-count indictment with one count of using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity; two counts of soliciting child pornography; one count of sending apparent child pornography; two counts of receipt of child pornography; and one count of possession of child pornography. 
On Aug. 13, 2012, Ritterhoff entered guilty pleas to Counts 5 and 6 of the indictment charging him with receipt of child pornography, and admitted receiving two emails on June 6, 2011, which contained electronic images of child pornography.  As required by the plea agreement, the remaining counts of the indictment were dismissed after Ritterhoff was sentenced.

The case was investigated by HSI, the Bronx District Attorney’s NYPD Squad, and the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office (NMAGO) with assistance from the Las Cruces Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Lizarraga of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.                                      

The case was 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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 Task Force whose mission it 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 Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the NMAGO.  Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.

Updated January 26, 2015