Roswell Man Facing Federal Child Pornography Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Jim Walter Qualls, Jr., 27, of Roswell, N.M., appeared in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., this morning on a criminal complaint charging him production and distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Qualls entered a not guilty plea to the criminal complaint and remains in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled on Aug. 13, 2014.
According to court filings, a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigation revealed that the administrator for a website banned a specific account from the website for allegedly posting sexually explicit images of a minor female approximately three to five years in age. Investigation revealed that the account was connected to an IP Address subscribed to Qualls at a Roswell residence.
On July 31, 2014, law enforcement officers from HSI, the Roswell Police Department and the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office executed a federal search warrant at Qualls’ residence and seized cellphones, computers, computer-related media, a camera and other items. Qualls was arrested after he was interviewed by law enforcement officers.
If convicted of the charges in the criminal complaint, Qualls faces a federal prison term of not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years. Qualls 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 the Las Cruces office HSI, the Roswell Police Department and the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Artesia Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office 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.