Los Lunas Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Federal Child Exploitation Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE – Victor Castellon, 52, of Los Lunas, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 180 months in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for his child exploitation conviction. 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.
On May 4, 2015, 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 had arranged to meet the “minor.”
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 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 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.