CORPUS CHRISTI – It was announced in a news release by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that two Corpus Christi men were sentenced on Thursday to 23 years in federal prison for two separate cases of producing child pornography using social media.
On April 11, Jesus Ramirez Jr., 27, was sentenced to 280 months in federal prison for producing child pornography.
ICE provided information regarding Ramirez’ case saying that Ramirez admitted to using a false identity online to persuade and ultimately coerce minors to create and send nude and sexually graphic photos and videos of themselves to him.
ICE continued to say that each minor reportedly received disturbing messages from Ramirez in which he claimed to have created images that appeared to be naked pictures of them using photos found on their various social media accounts along with pornographic photos. Ramirez then threatened to send the created photos to the victims’ friends and classmates.
No evidence was found by authorities showing that Ramirez had met any of his victims in person but law enforcement did recover evidence that he was intending to do so using false and misleading information and messages, stated ICE.
On the same day, Julio Cesar Diaz, 31, was sentenced to 276 months in federal prison for producing child pornography and online solicitation of a minor.
It was reported that Diaz admitted to using social media and a false name to meet minor females in and around Corpus Christi, grooming them over phone calls and chat messages.
Diaz requested nude and sexually explicit images of the children after a short time and ICE said that ultimately, he did meet some of the minors to engage in sexual activity.
Both investigations were conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Corpus Christi as well as the Corpus Christi Police Department’s (CCPD) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Ramirez and Diaz both pleaded guilty to their charges in September 2018 and January 2018, according to ICE.
ICE concluded the release to say, “Both investigations were conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 19,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2018, more than 3,000 (3,191) child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 850 (859) victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.”
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