- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Federal authorities this week arrested an illegal immigrant from Guatemala on charges of distributing child pornography videos through Facebook.

Prosecutors said Samuel Mendez-Garcia was reported in April by Facebook and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who spotted and confirmed the videos, then alerted police in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island police and agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement traced the video back to Mr. Mendez-Garcia, and eventually found more than 50 videos and images of child pornography on the man’s cellphone.



The criminal complaint filed Tuesday includes stomach-churning details of prepubescent girls and boys forced into sexual activities with adults.

When police first confronted Mr. Mendez-Garcia about the original child pornography video he admitted he received it from a group on the Whatsapp instant messaging application named “El sexo.”

He said he knew there was child pornography shared on the group, and promised to delete it if he saw it in the future, according to the affidavit.

But a day later, Facebook flagged another video on his account, and a subsequent search of the man’s smartphone turned up a cache of videos and images.

Prosecutors said Mr. Mendez-Garcia is in the country illegally, having already been blocked from entering the U.S. from Mexico in 2002. Authorities didn’t say how he managed to sneak in later, nor how long he’d been living in the U.S.

ICE has lodged a detainer request to deport him once the criminal case against him is completed.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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