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Press Release

Man Extradited From Spain Pleads Guilty To Child Sex Abuse

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten announced that on February 8, 2024, Kristian Ignacio Feliz, age 24, of Connecticut, pled guilty to sexual exploitation of a child. Feliz was indicted in March 2023, and extradited from Spain last November to face federal charges. Sentencing is scheduled to proceed on May 29, 2024, before U.S. District Court Judge Jane M. Beckering. Feliz faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison, up to a maximum of 30 years.

          “My office is committed to protecting our most vulnerable citizens from child exploitation,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “I appreciate the Government of Spain, FBI, and Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety for their persistent and successful efforts to bring Mr. Feliz to justice.”

          As part of his plea, Feliz admitted that from October 2022 through January 2023, he used Discord, an internet-based messaging platform, to coerce a minor in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to create and distribute child pornography of herself. Then, from January 3-5, 2023, Feliz traveled to Kalamazoo and made videos of himself having sex with the same minor. Feliz also had at least one of those videos sent to his Discord account.

          "Those who dare to victimize innocent children will face the full force of the law," said Cheyvoryea Gibson, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. "The FBI is relentless in its commitment to safeguarding children from dangerous predators and will leave no stone unturned in pursuing criminals, no matter where they hide. We extend our gratitude to our law enforcement partners, especially the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and the dedicated staff of the FBI's West Michigan Based Child Exploitation Task Force (WEBCHEX), for their unwavering efforts in protecting the most vulnerable members of our society. The FBI urges the public to report alleged crimes of child sexual and physical abuse by calling 1-800-CALLFBI (1-800-225-5324), contacting your Legal Attaché Office, or submitting tips online to"

          “The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety recognizes that these types of crimes are complex and difficult to investigate at the local level,” said KDPS Chief David Boysen. “Only due to the continued partnerships and support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan, the FBI, and the Task Force Officer’s position, we were able to see a successful outcome in this investigation.”

          The U.S. Attorney’s Office worked with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) to prepare and submit a request to the Government of Spain for Kristian Ignacio Feliz’s provisional arrest, followed by a formal request for his extradition. U.S. Attorney Totten and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Michigan Cheyvoryea Gibson extend their appreciation and thanks to the Government of Spain.

          This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following website: Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.

          This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Castle, and investigated by the FBI, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Department of State provided critical assistance in securing  Feliz’s arrest and extradition.


Updated February 9, 2024

Project Safe Childhood