SIERRA VISTA — Luis Cesar Fernandez De Castro of Sierra Vista, who was arrested Aug. 27 on eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, is scheduled to appear for a pretrial conference next month, a judge decided during his arraignment hearing in Cochise County Superior Court Monday.
According to the probable cause report in the case, Sierra Vista Police Department received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in July about the transfer of three illicit child images over Snapchat on June 20.
Snapchat filed a report to NCMEC, identifying the three files as “apparent child pornography.” They were described in the probable cause report as three video files of illicit content of minors between the ages of 4 and 14 years old.
The IP address of the device transmitting the three video files was identified as being issued by Cox Communications in Sierra Vista and issued to Luis Fernandez, according to the report.
In August, NCMEC notified SVPD of another report filed by Snapchat of the transfer of five more illicit child videos over their servers from the same IP address as the three illicit video files from June 20. However, it was noted in the probable cause report that the two transactions were separate incidents.
After a search warrant was filed with Cox Communications, the IP address was linked to subscriber Luis Fernandez, which was confirmed as the same address and IP address as Fernandez De Castro’s by the local police database and the Department of Motor Vehicles, the report shows.
According to an Aug. 30 city of Sierra Vista press release, Homeland Security Investigations special agents and SVPD detectives served a search warrant on Fernandez De Castro’s residence Aug. 27, and found evidence of “illicit activities” during the search.
He was arrested and charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. He currently is in custody in the Cochise County Jail on $300,000 bond.
Fernandez De Castro, 35, appeared via teleconference on his Sept. 13 arraignment hearing before Division IV Superior Court Judge Timothy Dickerson, who set a pre-trial conference date for Oct. 25 at 9 a.m.