Two Colorado men have pled guilty to the production of child pornography, with the produced videos and images involving children who were 7 weeks old, and 3 to 7 years old in each respective case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced in a statement to this examiner..
There was such an avalanche of evidence that Luis Alfonso Aragon Gallegos, age 29, of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and Jamie Sailas, age 30, of Denver, pled guilty last week before U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez. Both will be sentenced in April.
A Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) agent working in Washington, DC conducted an undercover investigation upon an Internet website that hosted chat rooms. Users of these chat rooms have the ability to upload content to the chat room in the form of pictures and video. While conducting the investigation, the HSI agent came across a link to a video that depicted an adult male engaging in intercourse with a minor female, linked to Sailas. The investigation led the agent to specific subscriber information which had been submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) by the Internet Service Provider.
A legal search of the defendant’s email account reflected that Sailas used the account to send or receive approximately 5,500 images and 240 videos of child pornography. The material included minors as young as infants, with a large majority of content depicting prepubescent minor females.
One, sick, image of child pornography depicted a penis in the mouth of an approximately 4-week-old infant. The image was taken by Sailas. The defendant had access to the infant because he was a friend of the child’s mother. Authorities tell this reporter that Gallegos produced approximately 110 images and/or videos of a child while she performed sex acts on him. The child was between 3 and 7 years old when the images and videos were created. Nearly 300,000 images and videos were found on Gallegos’ computer.
“Children were victimized in this case in an unspeakable way,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh in a statement sent to this examiner. “Thanks go to Homeland Security and FBI agents, along with federal prosecutors, whose hard work identified and apprehended the defendants of this terrible crime.”
“For good reason, there are significant penalties for predators convicted of sexually exploiting children,” said David A. Thompson, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “Jamie Sailas faces at least 15 years in federal prison after admitting he produced child pornography. Homeland Security Investigations conducts these child sexual exploitation investigations to obtain justice for their victims, and remove these predators from decent society so they can’t harm other innocent children.”
“The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue those like Gallegos who prey on children, especially those who advertise, trade, and/or produce child pornography,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. “Crimes of this nature threaten to destroy our most precious resource, offend every sensibility, and cannot be tolerated. The FBI and our partners will spare no expense or resource to bring them to justice.”
These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. More information can be found at Project Safe Childhood.