ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — A Silver City man and known sex offender is being sentenced to prison time stemming from federal child exploitation and pornography charges.
Michael Ray Sepulveda, a 39-year-old who was previously convicted in California on child abuse charges, was sentenced in a federal Las Cruces court Monday to 25 years in prison, in addition to a lifetime of supervised release for his conviction on child exploitation and pornography charges.
On Oct. 28, 2016, Sepulveda was arrested after a criminal complaint accused him of baiting a child via a social networking site to take part in sexually explicit communications.
Sepulveda posed as a 16-year-old girl and then sent sexually explicit images to the victim and coaxed the minor into sending explicit photos of themselves to Sepulveda.
Additionally, Sepulveda unsuccessfully attempted to meet up with the underage victim to engage in sexual activity.
He pled guilty to the charges on May 24, 2017.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working with its federal and local law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute child exploitation offenses and ensure that those who prey on the most vulnerable among us are brought to justice,” said Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney, who announced Sepulveda’s sentencing.
“Those who attempt to hide behind fake profiles on social media would do well to heed this warning: you will be discovered, caught, and prosecuted.”
As part of his sentencing, Sepulveda is forbidden from using social media sites without the approval of his probations officer.
He is also banned from using the website that assisted in his criminal activity and must pay $15,000 in restitution.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Segovia of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office as part of the Department of Justice’s 2006 national initiative Project Safe Childhood to fight against child abuse and exploitation.