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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 6, 2015

Janitor Employed by Las Cruces Elementary School Arrested on Federal Child Pornography Charges

ALBUQUERQUE – David Anaya Garcia, 31, of Las Cruces, N.M., was arrested on July 2, 2015, on federal child pornography charges.  Garcia made his initial appearance in federal court earlier today.  He remains in custody pending a preliminary hearing and detention hearing, both of which currently are scheduled for later this week.

The criminal complaint charges Garcia with distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography.  According to the complaint, HSI initiated the federal investigation leading to Garcia’s arrest on June 30, 2015, after the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office reported that an investigation by the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force revealed that an IP Address subscribed to Garcia’s residential address in Las Cruces was being used to download images consistent with child pornography.  The Las Cruces Police Department and HSI arrested Garcia and executed a federal search warrant at his residence on July 1, 2015.

If convicted on the distribution charge, Garcia faces a prison sentence of not less than five years and not more than 20 years.  If convicted on the possession charge, Garcia faces a federal prison term of up to ten years.  Garcia also would be required to register as a sex offender.  Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of HSI, the Las Cruces Police Department, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, the New Mexico ICAC Task Force and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office 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 a part of the New Mexico 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 [82] federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico ICAC 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.

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Updated July 6, 2015