Law enforcement officers in Polk County, Florida, arrested five men and a 16-year-old boy after they were found in possession of child pornography.
Police say Alejandro Manuel Resto Rodriguez, 20, of Winter Haven; Jonathan Omar Baez Rivera, 18, of Hain; Ian James Vache, 47, Lakeland; Marco Cepeda, Jr., 24, Lakeland; Emanuel Paulino-Correa, 18, Poinsiana; and a 16-year-old Davenport man face child pornography charges.
The investigation into the suspects began when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children alerted detectives that individuals were distributing child pornography online.
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Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a press release that the images and videos found during the investigation were “appalling” and vowed to protect children from anyone who possesses, sells or distributes child pornography.
“These men are part of an underground child pornography market around the world – the demand for this obscene material harms children and destroys lives,” Grady said. “I appreciate the hard work our detectives did to bring these charges. Working to keep our children safe is the most important thing we do.”
Police said Rodriguez was charged with 94 counts of child pornography after his cell phone contained 94 files of children between the ages of a few months and 8 years old.
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Rivera is charged with 17 counts of possession of child pornography for allegedly using Snapchat to view child pornography, police said. According to police, his cell phone contained files of children between the ages of 1 and 9 involved in prostitution.
According to police, Vache had 160 files of child pornography on his cell phone, some of which were of children as young as 6 months old.
Investigators found a glass pipe containing amphetamines at the scene, according to a press release.
Police charged Cepeda with seven counts of child pornography and Paulino-Correa with 30 counts.
The 16-year-old was also charged with 25 counts of child pornography.
Police said forensic tests may be conducted as additional electronic devices were seized in each investigation. If additional child pornography is discovered, police added, the suspects will be charged accordingly.