Nationwide manhunt for 'John Doe' child pornography producer who sexually abused infant and toddler ends with arrest in central Florida

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MIAMI – A central Florida man was arrested late Tuesday by Polk County Sherriff’s Office (PCSO) deputies and special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) after HSI’s national Cyber Crimes Center in the Washington, D.C., area determined that the man was a prime suspect in a national "John Doe" warrant.

Benjamin Cuadrado, 40, of Lakeland, Fla., was arrested by PCSO on state charges for two counts of capital sexual battery of a child under 12. Federal child pornography production charges will also be brought against Cuadrado by HSI. HSI special agents in Miami discovered six videos of two infants being sexually abused by an adult male, whose face was partially visible in the videos, following an unrelated search warrant conducted by HSI, Secret Service, Miami Beach Police Department and Miami Dade School Board Police in August 2013. With assistance from a forensics sketch artist from Fairfax County Police in Virginia and the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in Washington, HSI’s Cyber Crimes Center obtained the national John Doe warrant on March 20. On March 25, further analysis by the Cyber Crimes Center identified a potential suspect in Lakeland and notified HSI Tampa and Miami.

"Protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation is one of HSI’s most vital missions," said HSI Associate Director James Dinkins. "We are dedicated to working at both the local level and internationally to ensure that there is no refuge for child predators. These predators may think that they can hide behind the anonymity of cyber space, but we are happy to remind them how mistaken they are."

According to PCSO, Cuadrado admitted post-Miranda to sexually abusing two victims, ages 2 years and 13 months, and to videotaping the abuse. Cuadrado will remain in the Polk County Jail under no bond until his initial appearance this afternoon.

"This man is a monster. There are no other words to describe him," said BCSO Sheriff Grady Judd. "We commend the Department of Homeland Security for tenaciously following the trail that led to his arrest."

HSI Tampa and PCSO are both members of the local Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

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 the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents 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.

News Source : Nationwide manhunt for 'John Doe' child pornography producer who sexually abused infant and toddler ends with arrest in central Florida

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