Former Army lieutenant colonel pleads guilty to possessing child pornography
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida
MIAMI – On Dec. 20, Edgar Ali Cerda, 49, of Cooper City, Florida, a former Army lieutenant colonel pleaded guilty in federal district court in Fort Lauderdale to possession of child pornography. At the time of the crimes, Cerda was employed with the United States Army.
On March 10, 2021, law enforcement officers executed a residential search warrant at Cerda’s home. An examination of Cerda’s electronic devices revealed multiple images and videos depicting sexual exploitation of children under 12 years of age, with one victim as young as four years old. Forensic evidence also revealed that Cerda shared some of the images within a group chat. Law enforcement officers arrested Cerda, who was home at the time.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 28, 2024, before U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith. Cerda faces up to 20 years in federal prison and up to a lifetime of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of FBI, Miami Field Office, and Sheriff Gregory Tony of the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) announced the guilty plea.
FBI Miami and BSO investigated the case with assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Fort Lauderdale Police Department (FLPD), and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ajay J. Alexander is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), PSC 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 PSC, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 23-cr-60115.
Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida
Updated December 21, 2023
Project Safe Childhood