You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 17, 2015

Prior Sex Offender from Albuquerque Arrested on Federal Child Pornography Charges

Prosecution Brought Under Federal “Worst of the Worst” Anti-Violence Initiative and Project Safe Childhood

ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Lippke, 71, of Albuquerque, N.M., made his initial appearance in federal court on a nine-count indictment charging him with child pornography charges.  Lippke remains in custody pending a detention hearing, which is scheduled for July 20, 2015.

Lippke was arrested yesterday on an indictment that charges him with two counts of distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and seven counts of possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  The indictment alleges that Lippke distributed child pornography on July 20, 2014 and July 22, 2014.  It also alleges that Lippke possessed child pornography between Sept. 16, 2014 and Dec. 10, 2014 on various computers and computer-related media.  Lippke is alleged to have committed the nine offenses in Bernalillo County, N.M.

If convicted on a distribution charge, Lippke faces a statutory mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.  If convicted on a possession charge, Lippke faces a statutory mandatory minimum of ten years to a maximum of 20 years in prison.  Lippke also would be required to register as a sex offender.  Lippke faces an enhanced sentence because he previously was convicted on a child pornography charge.

Charges in indictments are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the Homeland Security Investigations and the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, with assistance from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  All three entities are members of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

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/.

The case also was brought as a part of the New Mexico 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 NMAGO.  Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement. This case was investigated by the ATF office in Albuquerque and APD.

The case also is brought as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” 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 for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.  Because New Mexico’s violent crime rates, on a per capita basis, are amongst the highest in the nation, New Mexico’s law enforcement community is collaborating to target repeat offenders from counties with the highest violent crime rates, including Bernalillo County, under this initiative.

Component(s): 
Updated July 20, 2015