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Ex-Salvation Army captain heading to federal prison on child porn charges

While Moreno admitted to collecting roughly 10,000 files, prosecutors say he possessed over a million.

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RAPID CITY, S.D. — A former Salvation Army captain was handed a lengthy prison sentence after admitting to collecting child pornography for the past two decades.

Javier Moreno, 41, of Rapid City, South Dakota, was sentenced Aug. 16 to 17 years and six month in federal prison after he was convicted of receipt of child pornography. The sentence also ordered Moreno to spend eight additional years on supervised release, register as a sex offender and make a special assessment of $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

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Javier Moreno

The charges stem from April 2021, when two Cybertips were submitted to law enforcement by Kik, a free instant messaging app. Upon receiving the tips, an investigation was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and Rapid City Police Department.

After obtaining a warrant, authorities conducted a search of Moreno’s account on the instant messaging platform, where they discovered over 10,000 recordings and images of child pornography. The Rapid City Journal, however, reported that U.S. Attorney Sarah Collins claimed that Moreno was in possession of over a million such files.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Dakota, the multimedia files included sadism and other sexual acts of victims determined to be “infants and toddlers.” In an interview with law enforcement, Moreno reportedly admitted to viewing and collecting child pornography since the early 2000s.

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Court documents indicate that over 30 devices were confiscated during a warrant execution, including laptops, phones, iPods, hard drives and more.

Moreno was indicted in May 2021 and eventually pleaded guilty in December 2021 to one count of receipt of child pornography in exchange for the dismissal of charges for possession of child pornography.

The 17-and-a-half year sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Viken fell just short of the maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Following the conclusion of the sentencing hearing. Moreno was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021. After over a year in Mitchell, he moved to Milwaukee, where he now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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