ALBUQUERQUE – Christopher Raymond Lopez, 53, of Albuquerque, N.M., a previously convicted sex offender, pleaded guilty this morning in federal court to an indictment charging him with possessing child pornography. Lopez entered the guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement.
Homeland Security Investigations and the Albuquerque Police Department arrested Lopez on Feb. 22, 2018, on the three-count indictment, which was filed on Feb. 14, 2018, and charged him with possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on a hard drive, a computer and a thumb drive. According to the indictment, Lopez committed the crimes on June 29, 2016, in Bernalillo County, N.M.
Lopez remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled. At sentencing, Lopez faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Lopez will also be required to register as a sex offender because of his felony convictions.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Albuquerque Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaheen P. Torgoley as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
The case also was brought as a part of the New Mexico ICAC Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 86 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.