Rio Rancho Man Arrested on Federal Child Pornography Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Armando Camarena, 31, of Rio Rancho, N.M., was arrested yesterday by agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on federal child pornography charges. Camarena made his initial appearance in federal court earlier today, and remains in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning.
Camarena is charged in a criminal complaint with distributing and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. According to the criminal complaint, HSI initiated the investigation leading to Camarena’s arrest after receiving a lead from HSI in Idaho Falls, Idaho. HSI-Idaho reported that a 14-year-old girl had received child pornography, child erotica and threatening messages on her iPod from an individual the child met through an Internet website. Investigation revealed that the child pornography and threats were sent from an IP Address allegedly being used by Camarena.
On July 30, 2014, officers from HSI and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) executed a federal search warrant at Camarena’s residence and seized computer images allegedly consistent with child pornography. Camarena was taken into custody at that time.
If convicted of the charges in the criminal complaint, Camarena faces a federal prison term of not less than five years and not more than 20 years. Camarena also would be required to register as a sex offender. Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by SPEED, the Sexual Predator and Exploitation Enforcement Detail, which is comprised of officers from HSI-Albuquerque office, APD and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from HSI-Idaho and the Idaho Fusion Center.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob A. Wishard 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 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 74 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.