Eladio Alfaro-Sarmiento, 55

UPDATE – A federal criminal complaint has been filed charging Eladio Alfaro Sarmiento, age 55, of New Carrollton, Maryland, for production of child pornography involving two victims under the age of three.  The criminal complaint was filed on September 23, 2021, and unsealed today upon the defendant’s initial appearance.

The federal charge was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, on August 9, 2021, the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) received five cyber-tipline referrals from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), generated when a representative from an Internet search engine discovered child pornography within the photo storage for a user.  The referrals requested expedited processing because of potential “hands-on abuse.”

As detailed in the criminal complaint, the cyber-tip contained information about a specific video file believed to contain child sex abuse material allegedly created by Sarmiento, as well as the metadata related to the location where the video was filmed, which approximately maps to the area of Sarmiento’s residence.

Specifically, the cyber-tips contain approximately 44 video files that were uploaded between June and August 2021, from two email accounts allegedly connected to Sarmiento.  According to the affidavit, the videos document the sexual abuse of prepubescent minors, including Victim 1 and Victim 2, who are both under the age of three.  Investigation of the photos section of one of the email addresses allegedly used by Sarmiento revealed hundreds of images and videos depicting child sex abuse material.

On August 11, 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Sarmiento’s residence and recovered five cellular phones, as well as clothing worn by Victim 1 and Victim 2 in videos that were part of the NCMEC cyber-tips. A subsequent forensic analysis of the contents of one of the cell phones allegedly belonging to Sarmiento revealed several images that appear to be “still” images from the videos depicting the sexual abuse of Victim 1 and Victim 2. The affidavit alleges that there were also several other images located on the cell phone showing ownership attributions such as an image of a COVID-19 vaccination card in the name of Eladio Alfaro, selfies depicting Sarmiento, as well as a social security card in his name. Sarmiento was arrested on August 11, 2021 on State charges filed in Prince George’s County related to child pornography and rape and has been detained since his arrest.
          
If convicted, Sarmiento faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.  At today’s initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day ordered that Sarmiento be detained.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.        

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended HSI, the Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney for their work in the investigation and prosecution.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly O. Hayes, who is prosecuting the federal case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.


NEW CARROLLTON, Md. –  Maryland State Police arrested and charged a Prince George’s County man early Wednesday morning after a Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigation developed evidence supporting charges of distribution, production and possession of child pornography and sexual abuse of a minor.

The suspect is identified as Eladio Alfaro-Sarmiento, 55, of New Carrollton, Maryland. Alfaro-Sarmiento is charged with 13 counts of distribution of child pornography, 13 counts of possession of child pornography, four counts of production of child pornography, four counts of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of second-degree rape. He was transported to the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections, where he is being held without bail.

On Monday, the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit began an investigation into the distribution, possession and production of child pornography online following multiple online tips. The investigation led to the identification of the suspect and his residence in Prince George’s County. On Wednesday morning, Maryland State Police, assisted by Homeland Security Investigations, the Prince George’s County Police Department and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, served a search warrant at the identified residence of the suspect.

The images produced by the suspect sexually abusing at least one minor, who is under 2 years old, provided investigators with enough information to locate the child to ensure their safety and prevent any further victimization. Investigators are working to determine if the suspect is connected to other victims.

The Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit coordinates the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. This is a combined law enforcement effort involving police departments across Maryland that is made possible in part due to grant funds provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Victim Services and by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. Task force investigators focus on identifying those involved in child pornography via the Internet and other related crimes that victimize children.