On Monday, the U.S attorney's office for the Middle District of Florida announced the arrest of 40-year-old Miguel Diaz Gonzalez. He has been charged with production of child pornography. Gonzalez, who is alleged to have operated online under the username "Satans child," was reportedly in possession of a video wherein he is depicted raping an 8-year-old who had previously been in his care.
Gonzalez first became a person of interest when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was tipped off to potential illegality involving an online storage account tied to the username "Satans child." Investigators examined the account and the contents associated with it, finding child sexual abuse material.
Authorities traced the account to Gonzalez's Orlando home. Having executed a search warrant of the property, law enforcement agents determined Gonzalez was the user of the account in question. With the link established, they executed another warrant to search the account.
According to the Justice Department, officials found a video documenting Gonzalez's rape of a child.
Gonzalez was arrested by the FBI on September 8. His booking report indicated that he had several tattoos depicting skulls and demons as well as one that read "F--- the world."
If convicted, Gonzalez faces a maximum sentence of 30 years.
The FBI, Orlando Police Department, Seminole County sheriff's office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were involved in the investigation.
This case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative to combat the technology-facilitated epidemic of child sexual exploitation. PSC was launched in May 2006 by the DOJ and works through a network of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to protect children and throw offenders behind bars.
According to the DOJ, technological advances have "encouraged child sexual exploitation offenders, especially those operating online, to an unprecedented degree." The department noted that virtually every new technology made available to law-abiding citizens can be weaponized by degenerates against the innocent.
Encryption, IP-masking technologies, highly protected online communities, video-streaming services, and mobile devices, in the wrong hands, can help offenders elude law enforcement and continue victimizing children.
Assistant United States attorney Cortney Randall, who has been with the PSC for nearly 15 years, noted that victims can be targeted in a variety of ways. Whereas Gonzalez's alleged victim was someone he knew personally, some offenders reach out to children via messaging apps and online games.
Randall told Fox46, "When you do come across something online or someone does try and contact your child please report it to law enforcement. ... Even if your child is not a victim, that person is just going to go out and find a new victim."
Even if offenders responsible for victimizing children are imprisoned, their criminal content may remain in circulation online for the consumption of other offenders. For this reason, the PSC has highlighted the importance of hunting down those who produce, distribute, and possess child pornography.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tip line is active 24/7.