Los Lunas Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Exploitation Charge
Plea Agreement Requires Sentence within the Range of Ten to Fifteen Years
ALBUQUERQUE – Victor Castellon, 51, of Los Lunas, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a child exploitation charge. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Castellon will be sentenced within the range of ten to 15 years followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Castellon will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Castellon was arrested on Feb. 11, 2015, on an indictment charging him with using a cellular telephone in an attempt to entice a minor to engage in a sexual activity. According to the indictment, Castellon committed the offense on Sept. 17 and 18, 2014, in Bernalillo County, N.M.
During today’s change of plea hearing, Castellon pled guilty to the indictment. In his plea agreement, Castellon admitted that on Sept. 17, 2014, he responded to a notice on a website that appeared to be posted by a minor, and he initiated a conversation with the minor regarding the possibility of meeting on Sept. 18, 2014, for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. Unbeknownst to Castellon, he was communicating with an undercover law enforcement agent posing as a child. Castellon was taken into state custody when he arrived at the location where he arranged to meet the “minor.”
Castellon has been in federal custody since his arrest on Feb. 11, 2015. He remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Sexual Predator and Exploitation Enforcement Detail (SPEED) of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Albuquerque office and the Albuquerque Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Mease 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/.
This 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 80 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 Office of the Attorney General. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.