News Americas, CUCUTA, Colombia, Tues. Dec. 16, 2014: Javier Orlando Palencia-Murillo, a 23-year-old Colombian predator who allegedly coerced 50 children to videotape and photograph themselves performing sexual acts, was arrested in Colombia Friday by an international team of officers and special agents.
Palencia-Murillo allegedly used social media to recruit and coerce his victims into sending him pornographic images. His victims were all males between the ages of 10 and 16.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Attaché Office in Colombia and the Colombian National Police’s Transnational Criminal Investigative Unit (TCIU) conducted the investigation that led to the arrest of Palencia-Murillo.
The Colombian Attorney General’s Office is handling the prosecution of the case. Palencia-Murillo is charged with the production, possession and distribution of child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.
The investigation was launched following a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators.
“Predators who think they can hide behind the anonymity of cyberspace are sorely mistaken,” said HSI Bogota Attaché Luis Sierra. “The law enforcement community in Colombia and the U.S. is committed to identifying the monsters who prey on our innocent children.”
Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 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 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.