ROCKVILLE – Maryland State Police troopers arrested and charged a man with charges relating to child pornography.
Troopers served a search warrant at 5:15 a.m. on Nov. 12 at the home of a relative of the suspect, Hugo J. Arce, 40, of Hagerstown. The troopers were not alone, however.
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) supported local law enforcement partners in serving a search warrant at the residence of Acre in Gaithersburg,” according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security.
Arce faces charges including 15 counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of distribution of child pornography.
State police located Arce in the home while executing the warrant, arrested him and transported him to the Montgomery County Detention Center for processing.
“He’s charged with possession and distribution, so he’s charged with having it and sharing it with others,” Ron Snyder, spokesperson for Maryland State Police, said.
Back in September, Maryland State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began investigating an instance of someone distributing child pornography files online, according to Snyder. Authorities determined the suspect was responsible for distributing the media and obtained a search warrant. Police executed the search warrant and seized several electronic devices. “Preliminary forensic review” found multiple child pornography files on the devices. Troopers arrested Arce “without incident,” Snyder wrote in the release.
Arce does not have a criminal record in the state, according to online court records.
Snyder said the arrest has no ties to other cases. He also added that Maryland State Police do not know who exactly created the child pornography.
“It’s a crime without borders,” Snyder said. “Pictures and videos could have been taken anywhere in the world, could have distributed from anywhere in the world. We can’t tell you where a lot of these things come from, unfortunately.”
Montgomery County Police (MCP) assisted in the investigation of Arce, MCP spokesperson Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti confirmed; specifics of the department’s involvement were not available before deadline. The taskforce often involves law enforcement agencies.
“These investigative efforts are often multi-jurisdictional; you know, we’re dealing with (…) often dealing with law enforcement agencies across the state,” said Snyder.
Arce is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 6 at District Court for Montgomery County, according to online court records.