Illegal Alien Arrested On Child Pornography Charge
LAREDO, Texas - Fidel Perales-Castillo, 43, has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala in San Antonio and Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar. Perales-Castillo is a Mexican Citizen in the United States Illegally.
“Accessing, downloading and sharing child pornography constitutes a very serious crime that HSI will rigorously investigate in order to pinpoint the alleged perpetrator and potential victims,” said Ayala. “Make no mistake, if you use the Internet to download child pornography, you will be identified, arrested and prosecuted.”
Perales-Castillo was arrested today following an investigation by the Laredo Child Exploitation Task Force led by HSI and the Webb County Sheriff's Office Cyber Crime Unit with assistance from the Laredo Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Marshals Service. He is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker tomorrow morning.
“This is just one of the several cases that our investigators are keeping a close eye on,” said Cuellar. “We will continue to utilize all resources as we track down these suspected child predators.”
The criminal complaint, filed today, alleges Perales-Castillo utilized the Internet to download images depicting a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Such images were allegedly downloaded multiple times over the past four years to a computer that was seized from his possession.
If convicted, Perales-Castillo faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine. Upon conviction, he will also be required to register as a sex offender.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Ellison, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.