Government Agency News ICE breaking news
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — On May 31, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Christopher Joel Rabell-Pineiro, 25, of Canovanas, with production of child sexual abuse material and child exploitation. Authorities arrested Rabell-Pineiro on June 6.
W. Stephen Muldrow, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, announced the indictment.
According to the indictment, Rabell-Pineiro used his cellphone and internet instant messaging services from November 2021 through March 2022 to use and coerce a 12-year-old girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct so he could produce a visual depiction of it and transmit the images.
Rabell-Pineiro’s charges resulted from an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Juan and the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force. During the investigation, authorities seized materials used for the production and distribution of child sexual abuse material from the defendant.
“The diligent and extensive investigative work by our special agents led to the identification and prosecution of this defendant who will face the consequences for his actions,” said HSI San Juan acting Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Gonzalez-Ramos. “He will now have to answer for the crimes for which he is charged.”
The charges of coercion and enticement carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison. The sentence for a conviction of production of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct range from 15 years to life.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office remains steadfastly committed to prosecuting those who violate federal laws regarding child endangerment,” said Muldrow. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice, along with our federal, state and local partners, are committed to protecting children from those who would seek to exploit them.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Emelina Agrait of the Child Exploitation and Immigration Unit is prosecuting this case.
For more information about HSI’s efforts to protect children from online sexual abuse, visit https://www.ice.gov/topics/iGuardians. To report suspicious activity, call 787-729-6969.
Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees is comprised of more than 6,000 special agents stationed in 237 U.S. cities and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents the largest DHS investigative law enforcement presence overseas and one of the largest in U.S. law enforcement.
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