Former Elementary Teacher Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges


According to a press release, a Venezuelan national and former elementary school teacher in Fort Stockton, Texas, remains in federal custody after pleading guilty Thursday to child pornography charges. His plea follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Javier Carlos Arteta Franco, 58, who resides in Fort Stockton, faces between five and 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to receiving and possessing child pornography. By pleading guilty, he admitted that from December 2014 to August 2015, he used a file-sharing program to download videos and images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct to his personal computer.

On Aug. 19, 2015, HSI special agents executed a search warrant at the Arteta Franco’s residence and seized his laptop computer. A forensics analysis of the computer revealed the presence of child pornography that had been downloaded from the internet.

Arteta Franco has remained in federal custody since HSI special agents arrested him Aug. 19, 2015. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

HSI special agents in Alpine, Texas investigated this case with assistance from the Fort Stockton Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigations Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandy Stewart of the Western District of Texas is prosecuting this case.

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 14,000 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 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

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. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

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.

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