SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. – Two area men were arrested in the past 72 hours on various counts of sexual exploitation of a minor as a result of ongoing investigations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Sierra Vista Police Department (SVPD).
On Friday morning, law enforcement executed a state search warrant at a residence on the 7200 block of SR 92 resulting in the arrest of Luis Cesar Fernandez De Castro, 35, of Sierra Vista.
The investigation began in July when the Sierra Vista Police Department received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). A second cybertip was received in early August. Both cybertips identified an individual using the internet to transmit illicit child images in the Sierra Vista area.
Fernandez De Castro was identified as the suspect involved in the transmission, and detectives from the Sierra Vista Police Department and HSI special agents executed a search warrant.
Evidence of his activities was secured during the search resulting in his immediate arrest.
On Saturday, HSI special agents notified detectives with the Sierra Vista Police Department that Jesus Moreno-Cruz, 28, of Phoenix, was in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol. A search warrant was obtained for his electronic device where evidence of illicit child images was identified leading to his arrest.
Both defendants were booked into Cochise County Jail. Moreno-Cruz, faces three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. He remains in jail with bail set at $100,000. De Castro has been charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. He remains in jail with bail set at $300,000.
“These investigations demonstrate how the extraordinary cooperation between SVPD and HSI helps keep our community safe from online predators,” said Thomas Ransford, SVPD’s lead detective on the cases.
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