EL PASO, Texas —A computer and information technology specialist remains in federal custody as a result of a child pornography investigation by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Victor Jerome Reza, 53, was arrested Tuesday at his home by HSI special agents assigned to HSI's Cyber Crimes Group, who have been investigating him since January.
According to court documents, Reza used peer-to-peer computer file-sharing programs to download pornography, including child pornography, for at least the past three years. An on-site forensic preview of Reza's computer revealed eight videos, which showed children being sexually exploited.
An arrest affidavit reads that Reza understood that the child pornography files he downloaded, via a peer-to-peer program, were available for sharing or distribution to others.
"HSI special agents tirelessly investigate any crime that targets and exploits children," said Dennis A. Ulrich, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso. "Our goal is to identify, arrest and pursue prosecution of individuals who commit such heinous crimes."
Reza's detention hearing is set for Aug. 11 in federal court.
This investigation was 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 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including producing and distributing online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking children. In fiscal year 2013, HSI agents arrested more than 2,000 individuals under this initiative.
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. 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.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.