Bobby Cruz Charged in an Eight-Count Federal Indictment Wednesday by a Federal Grand Jury in the Northern District of Illinois Alleging that he was Producing Child Pornography, Crossed State Lines to Engage in a Sexual Act with a Minor, Transporting Child Pornography, and Possessing Child Pornography

December 2, 2011
Bobby Cruz

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on December 1, 2011 released the following:

“Chicago-area man indicted for allegedly manufacturing child pornography, crossing state lines for sex with minor

CHICAGO – A local man who was arrested last month for allegedly transporting child pornography via computer, was indicted on new charges alleging that he manufactured child pornography involving at least three minor victims. The indictment was announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Gary J. Hartwig, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Chicago.

Bobby Cruz, 32, of Des Plaines, Ill., was charged in an eight-count indictment Wednesday by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Illinois. Cruz was charged with four counts of producing child pornography by enticing minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct, one count of crossing state lines to engage in a sexual act with a minor under 12, two counts of transporting child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography.

Cruz was ordered to remain in federal custody without bond after his Nov. 1 arrest. He was initially charged with a single count of transporting child pornography after federal agents allegedly discovered illegal images on his home computer. A subsequent investigation, which resulted in the discovery of additional child victims, resulted in the new charges alleging molestation and production of child pornography.

While announcing the indictment, law enforcement officials provided the media with a photograph of Cruz in an effort to solicit information from the public pertaining to any suspicious contact that Cruz might have had with any unknown minor victims. Anyone with such information is encouraged to contact ICE HSI Special Agent Jennifer Sapper at 630-574-4941.

The Des Plaines Police Department and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation.

According to the four manufacturing counts, Cruz allegedly produced child pornography involving at three least minor victims between September 2007 and June 2009 in Des Plaines, Ill. and between March 2008 and June 2009 in Morris, Ill. The charges allege that in each of the four instances, Cruz persuaded, induced, and enticed a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct. On Oct. 22, 2010, Cruz allegedly crossed state lines to molest a minor less than 12 years of age.

The remaining counts allege that Cruz transmitted and possessed child pornography between September and November 2011. The initial complaint against Cruz alleged that on Sept. 14 he sent an email to an undercover ICE agent with an attached zip file containing about 100 images of child pornography. The investigation began when agents learned that the same email account, allegedly identified later as belonging to Cruz, was used to trade hundreds of child pornography images with an unnamed individual in December 2010. ICE agents subsequently linked the email account to Cruz’s residence. On Nov. 1, agents executed a search warrant and seized a laptop computer, an external hard-drive, and other items allegedly containing numerous images and videos of alleged child pornography. The indictment seeks forfeiture of the computer equipment and other seized items.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennie Levin, Northern District of Illinois, is prosecuting this case.

Crossing state lines to engage in a sexual act with a minor under 12 carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years and a maximum of life in prison. Each of the four counts of manufacturing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. Transporting child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count; and possessing child pornography carries a 10-year maximum prison term. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


John A. Crowe, a TSA Screener, Arraigned on Federal Child Pornography Charges

June 30, 2011

U.S. Attorneys Office District of New Mexico on June 30, 2011 released the following press release:

“ALBUQUERQUE – This morning in federal court in Albuquerque, John A. Crowe, 51, was arraigned on a five-count indictment charging him with child pornography offenses. The indictment charges Crowe with (1) advertising a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; (2) transporting a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; (3 & 4) distribution and attempted distribution of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on two separate dates; and (5) possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. If convicted of the charges in the indictment, Crowe faces a maximum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years and will be required to register as a sex offender. Crowe entered a not guilty plea to the indictment during this morning’s proceedings. Crowe has been in federal custody since his arrest on a criminal complaint on May 28, 2011; he remains detained pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.

Crowe was employed as a screener by the United States Transportation Security Administration and recently had relocated to Albuquerque from Ohio when he was arrested on child pornography charges on May 28, 2011. United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Crowe was arrested in Albuquerque based on an investigation by the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) and the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The criminal complaint alleges that, based on investigation in March and April of 2011, the NMSP and HSI learned that an IP address subscribed to by Crow at an Albuquerque address was being used to distribute child pornography. On May 26, 2011, officers and agents of the NMSP and HSI executed a search warrant at Crowe’s apartment and seized a computer and computer-related media. According to the complaint, Forensic investigation revealed that the computer contained images and videos of child pornography, including images and videos that appeared to have been taken with a hidden camera in a bedroom and bathroom in an unidentified residence. Several images that appeared to be taken with a hidden camera were of young females, both clothed and unclothed, who appeared to be under the age of 18.

According to the complaint, on May 28, 2011, after being advised of his Miranda rights, Crowe participated in a consensual interview during which he allegedly stated that he had obtained certain images and videos containing child pornography in Ohio, Alabama and Georgia by use of a hidden camera. Crowe allegedly stated that some of the minors in the images and videos were daughters of his past girlfriends, and that, when he moved from Ohio to Albuquerque in November 2010, he brought his computer, which contained the images and videos of child pornography, with him. Crowe also allegedly stated that he continued to have contact with three of the minors depicted in the images and videos that contained the child pornography.

Charges in indictments are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charlyn E. Rees, and was investigated by the NMSP and HSI. The case 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood 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 Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The case also was brought as part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force whose mission it is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 61 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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ICE Arrests Ricardo Del Valle-Diaz for Producing Child Pornography and Sexually Enticing a Minor

June 17, 2011

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) on June 16, 2011 released the following press release:

“SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A local school bus driver was arrested on Wednesday by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for producing child pornography and sexually enticing a minor.

Ricardo Del Valle-Diaz, 33, of Caguas, Puerto Rico, is a school bus driver for special education students.

“The increase in the number of cases involving child pornography and sexual enticement in our jurisdiction is alarming,” said Roberto Escobar Vargas, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in San Juan. “Those involved in this despicable crime should know that ICE HSI will pursue them, and we will not rest until they are brought to justice.”

On June 10, an ICE HSI special agent received a complaint from the Puerto Rico Police Department’s Sexual Crimes Division in Caguas stating that Del Valle-Díaz had video and audio recording of a special education student engaged in a sexually explicit conduct while on the school bus.

Del Valle-Díaz was charged in a criminal complaint for using, persuading, enticing, and coercing a girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct, specifically lascivious exhibition of the genital areas and performing sexual acts. Valle-Díaz allegedly promoted this behavior so he could produce a video image using the camera of his computer which had been mailed, shipped or transported in interstate commerce.

“Our children, who are the most vulnerable and innocent victims in our society, deserve every measure of protection we can give them,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “A child sexual predator will be held accountable for the unspeakable crimes he committed.” Project Safe Childhood is an initiative of the Department of Justice aimed at preventing the abuse and exploitation of children by use of the Internet and other mediums.

If convicted, Del Valle-Diaz faces a minimum 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. He had his initial hearing June 16 before Magistrate Judge Marcos Lopez. He was then transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, awaiting the outcome of his case.

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, an ICE-led initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Stephen Jabbour, a Licensed Texas Attorney and Former Democratic Chair, Sentenced to 14 years for Receiving and Possessing Child Pornography

June 10, 2011

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on June 9, 2011 released the following press release:

“CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A former Victoria County Democratic party chairman was sentenced to 14 years and two months in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno announced on Thursday. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Corpus Christi Police Department.

Stephen Jabbour, 57, of Victoria, Texas, is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas with a practice in Victoria, Texas, who was also serving as the Democratic Party Chair at the time of his arrest in August 2010, but has since resigned. Jabbour was sentenced on June 9 by Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head to 170 months in federal prison without parole, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. The court further ordered Jabbour to comply with additional conditions designed to protect children and the community. Jabbour must also register as a sex offender.

Jabbour pleaded guilty in January, admitting that between August and November 2008 he received child pornography via the internet and possessed child pornography in January 2010. This sentence includes a 170-month prison term for the conviction for receiving child pornography, and a 120-month imprisonment for the conviction for possessing child pornography. The court has ordered the sentences to be served concurrently.

According to the evidence presented in the case at the re-arraignment, Jabbour’s collection of child pornography consisted of images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Immediately following his conviction in January, the court ordered Jabbour into federal custody without bond pending this sentencing.

During this hearing, government witnesses testified that Jabbour’s collection of child pornography is believed to have been the largest such collection seized in the Southern District of Texas, and one of the largest seized in the United States. Jabbour possessed more than 250,000 images and videos of child pornography, and another 400,000 to 500,000 images and videos of child erotica. Additionally, testimony also described Jabbour’s online “chatting” with other persons believed to be pedophiles and the exchanging of images and videos with them via the internet. In his online chats, Jabbour repeatedly declared his sexual interest in children 0-9 years old, stated he admired child kidnappers, and became sexually aroused when he heard of Amber alerts.

In deciding upon the sentence ultimately handed down, the court considered the need to protect the public from Jabbour and deter others from engaging in similar criminal activity. Jabbour will remain in federal custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Duke, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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