The case of John Alan Nelson, 52, was bound over for District Court on Sept. 3. Nelson was arrested on Aug. 16, by the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office and charged with 57 counts of sexual exploitation of a child. According to the criminal complaint, an internet search following specific legal protocols yielded two images from an IP address that was later identified as belonging to Nelson.
During the initial interview, Nelson told officials that some of the images just popped up and were downloaded by accident. He said that he often found these videos when he was searching for Disney videos. Chaves County Sheriff Rob Coon said: “These guys always say that it just popped up, but we [auth] know that they don’t just pop up.”
The investigators were able to locate Nelson’s files showing up on other computers, which resulted in two counts of the 52 exploitation counts being qualified as distribution. The court documents record that of the 52 counts, the children, both boys and girls, were identified as prepubescent. Some of the children were identified as being between 8 and 13 years old. Some matched files held by National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.
Coon pointed out that the investigation for the Nelson case started in August of 2011. By December, the SO had obtained enough information for probable cause and a search warrant. Then the videos must be viewed and each must be researched and checked against the NCMEC. “These guys have gotten very good at hiding their files. Each case takes a long time, plus we are assisting other agencies with their investigations,” Coon said.
The investigators at CCSO have received specialized education. In addition, the sheriff’s office has dedicated software and acquired new software following the receipt of a JAG grant.
“The reason why we got involved in this (the New Mexico Taskforce) is we have a problem with kiddie porn in Chaves County. Santa Fe monitors number of sites and hits in Chaves County and we were invited to participate,” explained Coon.
He said the local service providers have been cooperative with their efforts to chase down those involved in the exploitation of children. “Many people want to believe these are victimless crimes, but these little girls and little boys are the victims. I would call these crimes against humanity,” Coon added.
“These kids may have been kidnapped, abducted and held captive. Then, they are turned out; when they are no longer useful, they are possibly killed,” he said.
Regarding a recent case in Lovington where the subject was given a sentence of 30 years, with all but one year suspended and time off for the six months already served, Coon said: “We are sending a bad message when they learn there is little or no consequences in certain places.”