Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Production of Child Pornography Charges in New Mexico
Defendant, Prosecuted Under Project Safe Childhood, Faces Sentence of 15 to 30 Years of Imprisonment Per Charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Luis Fernando Moreno, 38, of El Paso, Texas pled guilty today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to three production of child pornography charges. At sentencing, Moreno faces a statutory mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years of imprisonment as to each charge. Moreno will be required to register as a sex offender when he complete his prison sentence.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) charged Moreno by criminal complaint filed on Jan. 11, 2018, with producing and possessing child pornography in May 2013, in Dona Ana County, N.M. According to the complaint, the Sunland Park Police Department initiated an investigation into Moreno after responding to a sexual assault allegation by a 16-year-old. The minor victim alleged that Moreno video-recorded the victim with his cellular phone while the victim was showering. The complaint alleged that images and videos of child pornography created by Moreno and depicting another minor victim were found on Moreno’s cellular phone and laptop computers.
During today’s proceedings, Moreno pled guilty to a felony information charging him with three counts of producing visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In entering the guilty plea, Moreno admitted that on March 31, 2013, he used a cellular phone to produce a video and an image of child pornography. Moreno also admitted using a cellular phone to produce a video that included child pornography on May 10, 2013,
Moreno has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of HSI, the Sunland Park Police Department and the Las Cruces Police Department with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa A. Ong 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 information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. Individuals with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse are encouraged to contact the Children’s Advocacy Center at (575) 526-3437.
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 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 Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.