12/4/2012 12:53:00 PM
with possession of child pornography
By Tara Lindquist
A West Concord man, on Monday, December 3, 2012 was formally charged in Dodge County District Court with one count of Possessing Pornographic Work Containing a Minor.
Gerardo Godina Lopez, 23, appeared before the Honorable Judge Joseph Wieners on Monday morning with an interpreter for his bail hearing.
During the hearing Lopez sat with his head bowed and only nodded his head to indicate he understood the charge against him as his interpreter had read it to him. Prosecuting attorney Gary Remine asked the court to release Mr. Lopez to the custody of his family without bail because the case is unique. He stated to the court, Mr. Lopez is in the United States on a Visiting Visa from Mexico and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) did not have a hold on Mr. Lopez. Remine stated Mr. Lopez knew charges would be forthcoming as this has been an ongoing investigation and had an opportunity to leave the country before charges were brought but did not do so, because he wants to seek help and he has been cooperative with the investigation and law enforcement. Remine asked the court for the following conditions to be put in place upon his release: no use of the internet, no possession of pornographic material and must not leave the State of Minnesota without permission of the court, sign a waiver of extradition and remain law abiding. Judge Wieners accepted the recommendations and released Mr. Lopez to the custody of his family.
According to the criminal complaint and the court file, on May 10, 2012 Dodge County Investigator, Jeff Brumfield received a call from Special Agent David Giguere with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and also the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The search warrant request states the Agent Giguere had found an IP address that was downloading child pornography off of the internet and a subpoena allowed him to trace the internet IP address to a physical address located in rural West Concord.
On May 29, 2012 a search warrant for the address was granted and on May 31, 2012 Dodge County Investigator Scott Rose and Kasson Police Department Jesse Reding served the search warrant at the home. Upon arriving at the home they found only a woman at the residence who identified herself, when asked who else lived at the home she listed her husband and her brother whom she identified as Lopez were currently at work. The woman was asked to call them home.
Investigator Rose and Reding found one desktop computer and one laptop computer at the home.
The court complaint alleges upon the two arriving at the residence Lopez identified himself through an interpreter that he had been the one that was downloading the images. Lopez also, allegedly, told investigators he had several CD's that also contained images. The hard drive and the CD's were sent the BCA for forensic testing. According to the court file, Lopez also admitted to searching the internet for child pornography containing pre-teen females.
According to the criminal complaint, The BCA Forensic Testing found thirty-nine images and videos. Three of the children in the images were identified as being in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Database and thirty-one videos found were recognized as being child pornography videos.
Lopez will appear in court again on December 10, 2012.