PORTALES MAN INDICTED ON FEDERAL PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGE
ALBUQUERQUE – Augustin Gallegos, 34, of Portales, N.M., made his initial appearance in federal court in Roswell, N.M., yesterday on an indictment charging him with production of child pornography. Gallegos remains in federal custody pending arraignment and a detention hearing, both of which are scheduled for August 13, 2019, in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M.
A federal grand jury sitting in Albuquerque returned an indictment against Gallegos under seal on July 25, 2019. The indictment was unsealed after the FBI arrested Gallegos earlier today.
The indictment charges Gallegos with persuading, inducing, enticing, and coercing a child under the age of 18 years to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct. According to the indictment, Gallegos committed the crime between March 2018 and May 2019, in Roosevelt County, N.M.
At the time of his arrest on the federal indictment, Gallegos was in state custody on related state charges filed by the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The state charges will be dismissed in favor of federal prosecution.
If convicted of the charge in the indictment, Gallegos faces a statutory mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years of imprisonment. Charges in indictments are only accusations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the Roswell and Albuquerque offices of the FBI and the Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory with assistance from the Texico (New Mexico) Police Department, the Portales Police Department, and the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah J. Mease 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 more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.