On Feb. 20, State Police arrested Joseph Lopez of Estancia and charged him with the Sexual Exploitation of Children.

The arrest stemmed from a months-long investigation that was sparked when New Mexico State Police received information about a user who was uploading child pornography on the social media platform Snapchat, according to a press release.

The information came from a tip given to the Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children through Snapchat. With cooperation between Snapchat and the three agencies, the investigation led to identifying the Snapchat user as Lopez, the press release says.

The State Police Crimes Against Children Unit served a search warrant on Lopez’s residence in Estancia, which yielded at least 25 photographic images of child pornography on Lopez’s electronic devices, the press release says.

Lopez was arrested and booked into the Core Civic Detention Center in Estancia.

This case is still under investigation.

People who live in the Torrance County area and have any information concerning this investigation or have a child that is suspected to have been a victim of Child Exploitation are being encouraged to call the New Mexico State Police at (505) 841-9256, option 0.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.