The Sierra Vista Police Department recently arrested two men in two days on multiple charges of sexual exploitation of a minor in unrelated cases.

The first case began in July when the SVPD received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and launched an investigation. A second tip was received in early August. Both tips identified an individual using the internet to transmit illicit child images in the Sierra Vista area.

Investigators identified 35-year-old Sierra Vista resident Luis Cesar Fernandez De Castro as the suspect involved in transmitting illicit child images and obtained a search warrant for a residence located in the 7200 block of State Route 92. SVPD detectives and Homeland Security Investigations special agents served the warrant at about 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, and secured evidence of the illicit activities during the search.

Fernandez De Castro was arrested on Friday morning and charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. He was booked into the Cochise County Jail on a $300,000 bond.

In a separate case, SVPD detectives were notified by an HSI special agent of an individual in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol who had illicit child images on an electronic device in his possession on Saturday, Aug. 28. A search warrant was obtained for the device and evidence of illicit child images was identified, leading to the arrest of 28-year-old Phoenix resident Jesus Moreno-Cruz on three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor on Saturday. Moreno-Cruz was booked into Cochise County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

“These investigations demonstrate how the extraordinary cooperation between SVPD and HSI helps keep our community safe from online predators,” said Thomas Ransford, SVPD’s lead detective on the cases.

Anyone with information relevant to these types of cases is asked to contact Ransford at 520-452-7500.

Submitted by Sierra Vista Police Department