Feds arrest Juneau man in child porn case

Police arrested a 39-year-old Juneau resident Monday for child pornography distribution after he evaded his warrant for nearly two months.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt, who is prosecuting the case, said Gilberto Valadez-Garcia was arrested on an outstanding warrant at a restaurant in the Mendenhall Valley. A local Juneau Police Department officer spotted Valadez-Garcia while he was having lunch, Schmidt said in an interview Tuesday.

The warrant had been issued Feb. 18, two days after a federal grand jury convened in Juneau indicted Valadez-Garcia on one count of “sexual exploitation of a child — distribution of child pornography.” If convicted, Valadez-Garcia could be facing a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence, and up to 20 years in prison.

According to the charges, prosecutors believe Valadez-Garcia knowingly distributed or attempted to distribute at least three videos that depicted minors being sexually exploited. The video titles of two of the videos indicated the minors were prepubescent girls, around 9 and 13.

Prosecutors are also trying to have Valadez-Garcia forfeit any property used in connection to the alleged crime, according to a criminal forfeiture allegation.

Valadez-Garcia was arraigned Tuesday in U.S. federal court in Juneau and pleaded not guilty to the felony charge and the forfeiture allegation. Judge Deborah M. Smith, via videoconference in Anchorage, scheduled a trial for June 20. In the meantime, Valadez-Garcia was ordered to remain behind bars at Juneau’s Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Prosecutors said Valadez-Garcia has Mexican citizenship and is in the country legally as a U.S. permanent card holder.

• Contact reporter Paula Ann Solis at 523-2272 or paula.solis@juneauempire.com.

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