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Press Release

HSI San Juan Arrests 2 Men on Child Exploitation Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents with the support of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, arrested two men charged with Transportation of Child Pornography, Possession of Child Pornography, Production of Child Pornography and Coercion and Enticement of minors, in two separate and unrelated cases.

According to court documents, in or about December 2020 through in or about January 2021, Nathan Gallarza Chaparro, 22, of Aguadilla, did knowingly transport one or more images and videos, which contained images of child pornography. Also, Gallarza Chaparro was charged with possession of child pornography. Assistant United States Attorney Ginette Milanes, from the Child Exploitation and Immigration Unit, is prosecuting this case.

In a separate case, HSI special agents arrested Eduardo Luis Marrero Casanova, 52, a religious leader in Cayey.  According to the indictment, in or about December 2022, through on or about January 25, 2023, the defendant used a cellular phone, as well as internet instant messaging services, to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, and coerce two fifteen-year-old male minors to engage in sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, which includes the production of child pornography as defined in Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C.). Also, Marrero Casanova did knowingly employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor, and attempted to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct.

Defendant Marrero-Casanova is facing two (2) counts of coercion and enticement of a minor in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b), and two (2) counts of production of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a). Assistant U.S. Attorney Daynelle Álvarez-Lora, of the Child Exploitation and Immigration Unit, is prosecuting the case.

“The United States Attorney’s Office and the federal and local law enforcement agencies in Puerto Rico remain steadfast in our commitment to protect our children from sexual predators,” said W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.  “We remind and encourage the public to report all inappropriate behavior with children to their local authorities and together local and federal law enforcement agencies will seek justice for the victims of these crimes.”

“It is time for us as a community to stand together and protect our minors from these predators,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Rebecca C. González-Ramos. “We have the services, the help, and the expertise. Please reach out so we can take these individuals out of our society. There will be zero tolerance for those who intend to harm our children.” 

On Friday, the defendants had their initial hearings before U.S. Magistrate Judge Giselle López-Soler. The defendants were transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center to await further judicial proceedings.

If convicted, Nathan Gallarza Chaparro faces a statutory minimum sentence of 5 years up to 20 years of imprisonment followed by a term of supervise release of 5 years up to life for the possession of child pornography. Eduardo Luis Marrero Casanova is facing a minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum of life for each count of coercion and enticement; and a minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years for each count of production of child pornography. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crime and threats. One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission. HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline.  HSI utilizes its vast authorities, international footprint, and strong interagency and public-private partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify, and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.

For more information about HSI’s efforts to protect children from online sexual abuse, visit https://www.ice.gov/topics/iGuardians.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Updated February 27, 2023

Topic
Project Safe Childhood