Thanks to the efforts of the Monett Police Department and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force, a Mexican national has been indicted by a federal grant jury for enticing a minor to produce child pornography.
Jose J. Lazalde-Gonzalez, 30, a citizen of Mexico residing in Monett, was charged Wednesday in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield.
According to the federal indictment, Lazalde-Gonzalez used a minor to produce child pornography on Aug. 16, 2011. Lazalde-Gonzalez is also charged with being in possession of child pornography and illegally reentering the United States after having been deported.
According to Barry County Deputy Brian Martin, who serves as a member of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, Lazalde-Gonzalez was secretly making videos of someone under 18 without their knowledge. Martin said the victim's mother caught Lazalde-Gonzalez and reported it to law enforcement officials.
Martin said Lazalde-Gonzalez has been deported from the United States twice. The second time he was deported he was charged with presenting fraudulent documents to gain entry and served 90 days. The most recent illegal entry charge carries a stiffer sentence of a minimum of two years in prison.
The task force worked with the Monett Police Department to conduct forensics on the phone, assist with follow-up interviews and present the evidence to the U.S. Attorney's Office for federal charges.
The case against Lazalde-Gonzalez is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert.
Members of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force were also involved in the case of a Morrisville man who was sentenced Tuesday to 27 years in federal prison without parole on child porn charges.
John M. Davison, 30, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith after pleading guilty on July 8 to two counts of distributing child pornography over the Internet.
The investigation into Davison's crimes began when a task force officer was conducting a training operation at the Polk County Sheriff's Department. During the course of the training into how to conduct computer investigations into the distribution of child pornography, the officer noticed that a computer in Polk County was online offering images of child pornography.
The officer downloaded video files from Davison's computer, as well as additional files of child pornography during the course of the investigation. The computer was traced to the residence where Davison lived with his parents.