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Press Release

Las Cruces Man Arrested on Federal Child Pornography Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted Under Project Safe Childhood

ALBUQUERQUE – John Bevel, 42, of Las Cruces, N.M., made his initial appearance today in federal court on a criminal complaint charging him with possessing child pornography.  Bevel remains in federal custody pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing, which are scheduled for Nov. 2, 2017.


The criminal complaint alleges that Bevel possessed child pornography in Oct. 2017, in Dona Ana County, N.M.  According to the complaint, Homeland Security Investigations and the Las Cruces Police Department initiated an investigation into Bevel in early Oct. 2017, when Dropbox Inc., an online storage account system, reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that Bevel’s account allegedly contained approximately 15 files containing child pornography.  The complaint further alleges that Bevel’s smartphone contained hundreds of images of child pornography. 


If convicted of possessing child pornography, Bevel faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.  Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.


This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Las Cruces Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander B. Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is 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 information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse are encouraged to contact the Children’s Advocacy Center at (575) 526-3437.


The case also was brought as a 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 86 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico 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.

Updated October 30, 2017

Project Safe Childhood