Las Cruces Man Arrested on Federal Child Exploitation Charges
Prosecution Brought Under Project Safe Childhood
ALBUQUERQUE – Ignacio Salcido Jr., 38, of Las Cruces, N.M., made his initial appearance in federal court yesterday on a criminal complaint charging him with transportation of a minor in interstate commerce with intent to engage in sexual activity. Salcido remains in custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing scheduled on Sept. 1, 2016.
Salcido was arrested on Aug. 26, 2016, by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on a criminal complaint alleging that he transported a child under the age of 18 years in interstate commence on Aug. 22 and 23, 2016, with the intention of engaging in sexual activity. According to the criminal complaint, Salcido traveled with the victim from Phoenix, Ariz., to Juarez, Mexico, then to Las Cruces, and engaged in sexual activity with the victim during that time.
According to the criminal complaint, Salcido picked up the victim on the side of the road in Phoenix on Aug. 22, 2016, while traveling with two other individuals (witnesses) from San Diego, Calif. The complaint further alleges that the witnesses observed Salcido attempt to sexually abuse the victim on several occasions during the trip while the victim was sleeping in the vehicle. Later that day, Salcido drove the victim and the witnesses into Juarez, where he again attempted to sexually abuse the victim while the witnesses were not in the vehicle.
After returning to the United States, Salcido drove the victim and the witnesses to his residence in Las Cruces. At his residence, Salcido allegedly forced the victim to engage in sexual activity. The investigation into Salcido began the next day, Aug. 23, 2016, when one of the witnesses reported the alleged sexual assault to school officials in Las Cruces.
If convicted of the charge against him, Salcido faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of ten years and a maximum of life in prison. The charges in the complaint are merely accusations and Salcido is presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of HSI and the Las Cruces Police Department with assistance from the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa A. Ong and Alexander B. Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office are prosecuting the case 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/.