A Vista man is accused of trying to coerce two children into sending him naked or sexually explicit photos of themselves, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Joseph Daniel Saucedo, 25, faces charges of production, attempted production and receipt of photographs of minors.
Federal officials released the following case information:
According to a complaint, Saucedo posed as a teenage girl and began communicating online with an 11-year-old Canadian boy. At first the two had normal conversations about everyday life. But then Saucedo, pretending to be "Amy," sent naked pictures of young girls and asked the boy to communicate with her friend, an adult male, via telephone. "Amy" threatened to disparage the boy online if the boy did not contact her adult male friend.
After days of pressure from "Amy," the boy relented and texted the adult male, who then called the boy using FaceTime and sent the boy photos of himself naked on his bed and other sexually explicit images. The Canadian boy continued to hang up on the adult male.
The harassment continued, and finally, on January 25, 2016, the boy received a message from "Amy" which included a video of a young boy masturbating. Amy threatened to leak the video and claim it depicted the Canadian boy.
Around this time, police in Calgary began investigating Saucedo's online accounts that they had linked to child pornography. According to the complaint, they linked Saucedo to scores of illicit images and traced him to Vista, California.
They also discovered that Saucedo was carrying on a similar online relationship with a 16-year-old girl in Florida -- this time pretending to be a modeling agent.
"As parents we need to be aggressively monitor what our children are doing online, and as prosecutors, we will aggressively go after predators who are coercing, extorting and harming our kids," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. Duffy asked that potential victims to please contact our Victim-Witness Coordinator, Polly Montano, at 619-546-8921.
"The tireless efforts and great investigative work by our special agents has lead us to serious charges against Mr. Saucedo," said David Shaw, Special Agent in Charge for United States Homeland Security Investigations, San Diego. "Working hand in hand with our law enforcement partners, we continue to keep our children's safety as one of our top priorities."
"The United States Secret Service will continue to work closely with our partners at Homeland Security Investigations, as well as our state, local and foreign law enforcement partners, in assisting them with investigations that involve sexually exploited children," said David Murray, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service San Diego Field Office. "With a collaborative effort, law enforcement has a greater impact on our communities, especially in stopping those who prey on innocent children."
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill Burkhardt ordered Saucedo detained pending a hearing on Dec. 22.