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Press Release

Providence Man Sentenced for Possessing Images and Videos of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI –A Providence man who admitted to possessing dozens of videos and images of child pornography was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh, and Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Colonel James M. Manni.

At the time of his guilty plea in December 2018, Samuel Mendez-Garcia, 43, admitted to belonging to an online social media group that viewed and exchanged child pornography. Mendez-Garcia also admitted to sharing child pornography via Facebook messenger.

According to information presented to the Court, in late March 2018, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received information from security personnel at Facebook that a user of their services, with an IP address in Rhode Island, uploaded child pornography. The information was forwarded to the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force who determined that the IP address and the Facebook account belonged to Mendez-Garcia.

On July 19, 2018, members of the ICAC task force executed a court-authorized search of Mendez-Garcia’s residence and seized a laptop computer and a cell phone owned by Mendez-Garcia. Simultaneously, law enforcement officers met with Mendez-Garcia at his place of employment and seized a cell phone that was in his possession. A forensic analysis of Mendez-Garcia’s cell phones by a member of the ICAC Task Force revealed dozens of videos and images of child pornography, including images involving prepubescent minors and sadistic/masochistic conduct.

Mendez-Garcia was arrested on August 1, 2018 and ordered detained in federal custody.

An immigration detainer has been lodged against Mendez-Garcia by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after it was determined that he entered the United States illegally. It was also determined that Mendez-Garcia was prevented from entering the United States in 2002 when he illegally attempted to cross the U.S. border from Mexico.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman acknowledges and thanks the Newport Police Department, a member of the ICAC Task Force, for its assistance in the investigation of this matter.

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Contact

Jim Martin
(401) 709-5457

Updated April 30, 2019

Topic
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 19-52