A former St. Anthony resident will be sentenced in March after pleading guilty to possession of sexually explicit images of minors.  The charge is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250 thousand and at least five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said 25-year-old Mexican national Heriberto Aleman-Aguero entered the plea before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello Wednesday.

According to the plea agreement, on July 30, 2011, Aleman-Aguero went to a wireless service provider in Rexburg, Idaho, and requested his cellular phone be reprogrammed.  Aleman-Aguero completed a repair request form with his name and telephone number and left his phone with an employee.  On August 12, 2011, a subcontractor picked up the phone to complete the reprogramming.  While doing so, the employee observed several images and videos containing what he believed to be child pornography.  The employee contacted the Rexburg Police Department and turned the phone over to the police.

A search warrant for the phone was executed with the assistance of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  Forensic analysis of the phone and its MicroSD card revealed over a dozen sexually explicit images of minors, including depictions of prepubescent minors engaged in sexual acts with adults.  In the plea agreement, Aleman-Aguero admitted he knowingly possessed these images.

            "Child pornography producers and consumers destroy innocent lives," said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle, who oversees Idaho investigations.  "I commend the cell phone repair technician who discovered the defendant's collection and contacted police.  When it comes to protecting children, we can't take chances.  We can't ignore the obvious.  We all have a responsibility to take appropriate action."

The case was investigated by the Rexburg Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). 

Aleman-Aguero is scheduled to be sentenced March 4, 2013 in Pocatello.