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Press Release

Rio Rancho Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography and Cyberstalking Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Prosecution Brought Under Project Safe Childhood; Plea Agreement Recommends 12-Year Prison Sentence

ALBUQUERQUE – Armando Camarena, 34, of Rio Rancho, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a three-count indictment charging him with child pornography and cyberstalking charges.  Camarena entered the guilty plea under a plea agreement recommending a sentence of 12 years of imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  He also will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.


Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested Camarena in July 2014 based on a criminal complaint charging him 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, which 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 social media.  Investigation revealed that the child pornography and threats were sent from an IP Address used by Camarena.  On July 30, 2014, HSI and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) executed a federal search warrant at Camarena’s residence and seized computer images consistent with child pornography.  Camarena was taken into custody at that time.


Camarena was indicted on Aug. 12, 2014, and was charged with receipt of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and cyberstalking.  The indictment alleged that Camarena committed the crimes in Sandoval County, N.M., between Dec. 2013 and July 2014. 


During today’s change of plea hearing, Camarena pled guilty to the indictment.  In his plea agreement, Camarena admitted that in Dec. 2013, he used a social media application to initiate contact with a juvenile victim residing outside New Mexico.  When the juvenile victim sought to terminate contact with Camarena in Jan. 2014, Camarena sent the juvenile victim a series of messages in which he threatened to kill and inflict serious bodily injury on the victim and the victim’s family with the intention of causing them substantial emotional distress. 


In his plea agreement, Camarena also admitted that in July 2014, he possessed child pornography on his cellular telephone, which he downloaded and received from the internet.  Camarena acknowledged that law enforcement officers seized his cellular telephone when they executed a federal search warrant at his residence on July 30, 2014.


Camarena has been in custody since his arrest in July 2014.  He will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.


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 Jack E. Burkhead 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


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 86 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.

Updated September 20, 2017

Project Safe Childhood