Allegedly Pretended to be a Teenage Boy to Entice Minors to Engage in Sexually Explicit Conduct and Conversations Using Social Media
GREENBELT, Md. (October 21, 2015)—A federal criminal complaint has been filed charging Jose Antonio Jaramillo, age 53, of Lusby, Maryland, with production, receipt and possession of child pornography, coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, and transmission of obscene material to a minor. The criminal complaint was issued on October 20, 2015, and unsealed today.
The charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Andre Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Special Agent in Charge Clark E. Settles of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations Washington D.C.; Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, from approximately May 2014 through July 2015, Jaramillo, posing as a minor male approximately 12 to 17 years old, Tommy James, a/k/a Thomas James Jones and Thomas James, used social media to communicate with as many as 20 minor female victims. Jaramillo allegedly utilized several photographs to establish the Tommy James persona and either posted them on the Tommy James social media account or sent them to the minor females he communicated with online. According to the affidavit, Jaramillo, using the Tommy James persona, engaged in sexually explicit conversations with the minor females and/or induced them to produce sexually explicit images and videos and transmit those images to Jaramillo. The complaint alleges that during some of his conversations with the victims Jaramillo also transmitted sexually explicit photographs to the victims.
Jaramillo faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison for production of child pornography; a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison for receipt of child pornography; 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography; a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity; and 10 years in prison for transmitting obscene material to a minor. An initial appearance was held today at 2:30 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Schulze in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. Jaramillo was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.
A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HSI Baltimore and Washington, D.C, the Calvert County Sheriffs Office, and the Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ray D. McKenzie and Kristi N. OMalley, who are prosecuting the case.
Source: Office of United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein