Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Exploitation Charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Ignacio Salcido Jr., 38, of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty last week in federal court to transporting a minor in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. The plea agreement recommends that Salcido be sentenced to a term of imprisonment within the range of 120 to 135 months to be followed by a period of supervised release to be determined by the court. In the plea agreement, Salcido agreed to pay $210,012 in restitution to any victim who requests restitution prior to sentencing. Salcido will also be required to register as a sex offender.
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 commerce 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. Salcido subsequently was indicted on the same charge on Nov. 9, 2016.
According to court documents, 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. Court documents further allege 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 on, Aug. 23, 2016, when one of the witnesses reported the sexual assault to school officials in Las Cruces.
On April 12, 2017, Salcido pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Aug. 22, 2016, he transported the victim, who was under the age of 18 years, in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in sexual intercourse with the victim. Salcido remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
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 Alexander B. Shapiro and Aaron O. Jordan 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/.