SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Vista man has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in federal prison for posing as a teenage girl to get inappropriate photographs from children.
Joseph Daniel Saucedo, 26, pleaded guilty about a year ago to two counts of receiving and attempting to receive sexually explicit photos of minors.
On Friday, a federal judge gave Saucedo a sentence of 19 years and seven months in prison and 20 years of supervised release, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Saucedo admitted to posing as "Amy Jennings" while talking to an 11- year-old Canadian boy online, the statement said. "Amy" sent the boy naked pictures of young girls and asked him to communicate with her "friend," Saucedo. When the boy refused, "Amy" posted a photograph of the boy's house, told him she knew where he lived, and tried to shame him into communicating with Saucedo.
The boy relented and contacted Saucedo, who exposed himself to the boy over FaceTime, the statement said.
The boy hung up on Saucedo but the calls and threats continued until "Amy" sent the 11-year-old an explicit video, threatening to release it and claim it was him.
Police in Calgary, Alberta, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated, and then referred the matter to San Diego's Electronic Crimes Working Group, which ultimately identified and arrested Saucedo, the statement said.
After his arrest, authorities found evidence that Saucedo had been soliciting inappropriate photos from several other children, per the statement.
In August 2015, he tried to convince a 16-year-old Florida girl that he was a modeling agent before again using "Amy" to threaten the girl.
"Amy" harassed the Florida girl, who then turned to Saucedo for help. He agreed to help get "Amy" to stop bothering the girl, but only if the Florida girl would send him explicit photos of herself.
He asked her to "[w]rite my name on a paper or hand so I know it's a new one."
The girl agreed, and Saucedo later demanded that she continue sending him naked photos or "Amy" would post compromising pictures of the girl.
The girl told him that she was looking into the Kik app's legal system to handle the online threats from "Amy."
Saucedo responded, "Na I'll pay her I don't want you to get in trouble" -- possibly fearing that alerting Kik to would compromise his illegal activities, the U.S. Attorney's office statement said.
Saucedo told the girl that he had paid "Amy Jennings" $2,000. As a thank you, the girl agreed to a sexually explicit FaceTime chat with Saucedo, the statement said.
After gaining search warrants for Saucedo's cellphones, investigators say they found another eight minors whom Saucedo tried to harass, including a 13-year-old girl.
Saucedo has a prior conviction from 2012 for unlawful sex with a minor. He was 20, and the girl involved was 14.
"This case highlights the importance of strong international partnerships to target these heinous crimes," U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman said. "Thank you to our Canadian colleagues, and most especially to the brave victims everywhere who step forward to report abusive conduct. Their courage is a critical part of detecting and stopping similar abuse now and in the future."