Salinas Man Indicted and Arrested for Child Exploitation
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On April 20, 2023, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Alexander Joel Rivera-Santos, 25, of Salinas, Puerto Rico, with possession and transportation of child sexual abuse material, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The arrest follows an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau (PRPB) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico.
According to the indictment, from May 2021 through June 2022, Rivera-Santos knowingly possessed images of child pornography, including child pornography of a minor who had not attained 12 years of age, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A. As such, Rivera-Santos faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment, if convicted.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and prosecute persons who use technology to victimize children who are victims of child exploitation crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Muldrow.
“Our HSI San Juan agents are collaborating relentlessly with agents from all over the nation to identify and prosecute with solid evidence all those who have the intent to damage the innocence of our children. They can try to hide in chat rooms or cyber spaces, but rest assured, we will find them,” said Rebecca C. González, Acting Special Agent in Charge of HSI San Juan.
Rivera-Santos had his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marcos López and was ordered to remain temporarily detained at the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center pending further proceedings.
Assistant United States Attorney Emelina Agrait-Barreto, of the Child Exploitation and Immigration Unit, is in charge of the prosecution of this case.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crimes 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, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government 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.
Updated April 24, 2023
Project Safe Childhood