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Cases

CASE

Child Pornography and Enticement of a Minor

Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III

Middle District of Florida

________________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: WILLIAM DANIELS

December 18, 2013 (813) 274-6388

WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/FLM

OLDSMAR MAN ARRESTED ON FEDERAL CHARGES OF

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND ENTICEMENT OF A MINOR

Tampa, Florida – Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the arrest of Carlos Santiago Garcia, a/k/a "Xavier Constatinos" (21, Oldsmar) on charges of receipt, distribution, and possession of child pornography, attempting to coerce or entice a minor to engage in sexual activity through any facility of interstate commerce, and attempted transportation of a minor in interstate commerce to engage in illicit sexual activity. If convicted, Garcia faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years, up to a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the distribution charge, and a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, up to a maximum of 30 years in federal prison on the enticement charge.

According to the complaint, Garcia posed online (under the pseudonym "Xavier Constatinos") as a minor female on Facebook in order to lure and recruit another minor female victim to meet him, for the purpose of traveling out of state to engage in sex acts. As Garcia arrived at the victim's residence and assisted her with placing her suitcase into his vehicle, he was arrested by members of the Clearwater Area Human Trafficking Task Force. At the time of his arrest, law enforcement officers found marijuana, vodka, a written itinerary for the trip, and other items indicative of "grooming" for sex acts in Garcia's vehicle. Law enforcement also examined several of Garcia's email accounts, which revealed hundreds of images of child pornography. Garcia was ordered detained without bond pending further proceedings.

A complaint is merely a charge that probable cause exists that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by members of the Clearwater Area Human Trafficking Task Force, which is comprised of multiple law enforcement agency partners including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Clearwater Police Department, and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josephine W. Thomas.

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 Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Clearwater Area Task Force on Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is the exploitation by force, fraud or coercion of vulnerable people - often immigrants - for forced labor, domestic servitude, or commercial sex operations. Human trafficking has become a multi-billion dollar global crime impacting nations - and neighborhoods - around the world. Florida is one of the highest destination states for women and children trafficked into the United States. In the past 5 years, law enforcement and social service providers have identified multiple cases of human trafficking in the Tampa Bay, Florida area.

In October 2006, the Clearwater Florida Police Department was awarded a Department of Justice grant to fund the creation of the Clearwater Area Task Force on Human Trafficking (CATFHT). The mission of the task force is to identify and rescue victims, create a coordinated law enforcement system to investigate and prosecute these crimes, and to deliver social, legal and immigration services to human trafficking victims in the Tampa Bay area.

The Task Force will serve as a mechanism for communication and strategic collaboration between law enforcement agencies and service providers; coordinate community resources; promote community awareness of the human trafficking; and train intermediary communities on human trafficking indicators and responses.

How you Can Help

For additional information on the Task Force and its operations, to report a suspected case of human trafficking, to obtain additional information about the crime or to arrange for a presentation to your group or agency, contact the Clearwater Police Department at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call Task Force Detective James McBride at (727) 562-4916, or fax (727) 562-4488.

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