Today, federal authorities arrested 62–year-old Juan Benavidez of San Antonio and filed a federal criminal complaint charging him with distributing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
FBI agents executed a search warrant today at the defendant’s address and seized his cell phone. A preliminary examination of the iPhone revealed the presence of multiple image files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit activity as well as the use of the mobile messaging application named Kik to receive and distribute files depicting child pornography between April and June of this year.
Benavidez remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing anticipated for next week. Upon conviction, Benavidez faces between five and 20 years in federal prison.
The FBI’s San Antonio Crimes Against Children Task Force is investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.