New Bern (STL.News) – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan, sentenced Isai Sanchez, 23, of Wilmington to 120 months’ imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release. Sanchez was named in a five-count Indictment on May 22, 2018, charging him with receipt and possession of child pornography. Sanchez pled guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography on October 18, 2018. As a condition of the plea agreement, SSanchez, a native and citizen of Mexico, also agreed to his removal from the United States following the completion of his sentence.
The investigation began in June 2016, when officers of the Arlington Police Department in Arlington, Massachusetts arrested a separate man on child pornography charges. That man admitted to trading child pornography on his KIK Messenger account, and he agreed to allow agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take over the account.
In July 2016, an undercover agent accessed a chat group on KIK titled “Boys” using the account and identified a user that had posted two child pornography videos. Agents were able to identify an IP address for the account that posted the videos and found that it was assigned to Sanchez’s residence in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Agents executed a federal search warrant at the residence on May 4, 2017. Sanchez was present and agreed to be interviewed. He admitted using his laptop to download child pornography. He retrieved his laptop, which he had hidden under a dresser, and showed agents where he had hidden two hard drives in air vents. Forensic analysis found child pornography on each of the three devices. In total law enforcement recovered over 3,200 individual images and 3,600 videos depicting the sexual exploitation of minors.
This case is part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more information about this important national initiative, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.