Authorities turn to public for information in child porn case - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Authorities turn to public for information in child porn case

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Authorities Wednesday were seeking information from the public regarding a former special education assistant at a San Diego elementary school recently convicted of child pornography charges.

Adolfo Payan Chavez, 39, was taken into custody Sept. 18 at the San Ysidro border crossing after federal agents discovered images of child pornography on his laptop computer, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations.

"This case is particularly disturbing because Chavez worked directly with vulnerable children on a daily basis," said Special Agent Derek Benner.

At the time of his arrest, Chavez had worked for about 10 years as a special education assistant at Whittier Elementary School's Learning Center, where he provided one-on-one instruction to students with special needs, according to investigators.

Chavez pleaded guilty Nov. 17 to one count of transporting images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine, officials said. He remains in federal custody without bail pending his sentencing hearing March 5.

According to the complaint, Chavez had at least two sexually explicit images of females who appeared to be under 8 years old. He also was identified in a national pornography trading network, which remains under investigation, immigration officials said.

"We are appealing to the public to provide any information that might help with our ongoing investigation in this case," Benner said. "Tragically, every time an image of child pornography is viewed, an innocent child is exploited."

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations asked anyone who may have had previous contact with Chavez, or had information relevant to the investigation, to contact them at (619) 744-4625.

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