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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 21, 2018

Previously Convicted Sex Offender from Albuquerque Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Charges

Prosecution Brought Under Project Safe Childhood

ALBUQUERQUE – Russell Young, 39, of Albuquerque, N.M., a sex offender serving a term of supervised release from a prior child pornography conviction, pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to new child pornography charges. 

The FBI arrested Young on June 15, 2018, on a criminal complaint charging him with distribution and possession of child pornography in Dona Ana County, N.M.  According to the criminal complaint, on Oct. 13, 2011, Young was convicted of receiving child pornography, and was sentenced to 77 months of imprisonment followed by ten years of supervised release.  The complaint charged Young with violating the terms of his supervised release in March 2017, Oct. 2017, and Nov. 2017, by unlawfully possessing cellular smartphones with internet access.  The cellular smartphone seized from Young in Nov. 2017, contained multiple images of child pornography. 

During yesterday’s change of plea hearing, Young pled guilty to a felony information charging him with distributing and possessing child pornography.  In entering the guilty plea, Young admitted that on Nov. 4, 2017, he sent an image containing child pornography to another individual through social media.  Young also admitted that on Nov. 8, 2017, law enforcement located multiple images of child pornography which were stored on Young’s smartphone.

At sentencing, on the distribution charge, Young faces an enhanced penalty of a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum of 40 years instead of the otherwise applicable penalty of five to 20 years of imprisonment.  On the possession charge, Young faces an enhanced penalty of a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years and a maximum of 20 years instead of the otherwise applicable penalty of a ten-year maximum term of imprisonment.  Young faces these enhanced penalties because of his prior child pornography conviction.

This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI.  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 more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.

The case also is being prosecuted the case as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets violent, repeat offenders for federal prosecution.  Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders primarily based on their prior criminal convictions for federal prosecution offenders with the goal of making communities in New Mexico safer places for people to live and work.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated September 21, 2018