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Arizona men facing multiple charges for alleged child sexual exploitation

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Posted at 3:14 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 18:27:03-04

Two Arizona men are facing multiple counts of child sexual exploitation following ongoing investigations by local and federal authorities this week.

According to Homeland Security Investigations Phoenix (HSI), authorities conducted a state search warrant at a home near State Route 92 and Hereford Road Friday morning.

The search led to the arrest of 35-year-old Luis Cesar Fernandez De Castro, of Sierra Vista.

In July, Sierra Vista police began an investigation after receiving a cyber tip from the National Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

A second cyber tip was received in early August where both cyber tips identified a person using the internet to transmit illegal child images in the Sierra Vista area.

Fernandez De Castro was identified as the suspect involved in the transmission, according to HSI.

On Saturday, HSI notified Sierra Vista police detectives that 28-year-old Jesus Moreno-Cruz, of Phoenix, was in Border Patrol custody.

A search warrant for his electronic device where illegal child images were reportedly found led to his arrest.

Both men were booked into Cochise County Jail.

De Castro was charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and has a bond set for $300,000. Moreno-Cruz faces three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and has a $100,000 bond.

“Innocent children are irreparably harmed in the production of child pornography, and individuals who distribute such revolting material continue to victimize them,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge of HSI Phoenix. “Protecting the most innocent members of our society is a top priority for HSI and we will not concede in our efforts to take child predators off our streets by putting them where they belong - behind bars.”