A 22-year-old Colorado man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for producing child pornography, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to his plea agreement, Alexander Isaiah Perez was first noticed by INTERPOL's Specialist Group on Crimes Against Children after they noticed a series of images showing the sexual exploitation of a young boy - ID'd as Minor #1 in the case. According to the Justice Department, the photo had been posted on an internet bulletin board.
The Homeland Security Investigations, Cyber Crime Center and Child Exploitation Investigations Unit then dug into the case. Multiple images of Minor #1 had been posted on "The Bulletin Board" on an anonymity network known as "The Onion Router" or just "Tor."
Investigators said that Tor was originally designed and created as a project of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for the primary purpose of protecting government communications.
Law enforcement then found another photo - this time of Perez - taken with the same digital camera that was used to take the pictures of the minor, the Justice Department said. Investigators soon found Perez's social media accounts and tied one of his Facebook photos to a summer camp in Colorado.
A search warrant was issued for the summer camp and investigators found the digital camera in question, as well as a laptop and iPhone all belonging to Perez. The Justice Department said investigators found out that Perez took pictures of Minor #1 and live-streamed his sexual abuse of the minor.
The sexual exploitation happened sometime during Dec. 2014 and Jan. 2015, the Justice Department said.
Perez's sentence of 10 years in federal prison was handed down by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alecia L. Riewerts prosecuted the case.