Child porn, exploitation sting leads to 9 arrests
Men from Cranston, Warwick and West Warwick are facing child pornography charges after a multi-agency investigation into the alleged sexual exploitation of children.
Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven O’Donnell announced the arrests on April 1. The operation was conducted by members of the Computer Crimes Unit and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, along with the United States Marshals Sex Offender Law Enforcement Multidisciplinary Network (SOLEMN) and the U.S. Secret Service
According to police, the investigation “identified the alleged owners of digital media containing pornographic images and videos of children.” Several men were subsequently taken into custody on charges of possession of child pornography and transfer of child pornography.
Richard Dias, 60, of 227 South Clarendon St. in Cranston; Gregory Warner, 29, of 2 O’Donnell Avenue, Unit #3 in Warwick; and Andrew Fontaine, 26, of 4 Shane Drive in West Warwick were all arraigned in Third Division District Court, with bail set at $20,000 personal recognizance. They were ordered to have no contact with minors or their respective victims, and to not access the Internet.
Additionally facing the child pornography charges are Enrique Rodriguez, 40, of 282 Asylum Ave. in Woonsocket, who was arraigned in Sixth Division District Court with bail set at $10,000 personal recognizance; Nolan Ross, 20, of 53 Seacrest Drive in Portsmouth, who was arraigned in Fourth Division District Court with bail set $10,000 personal recognizance; and Joshua Martenson, 33, of 856 Smith Street, Unit #1 in Providence, who was arraigned in Sixth Division District Court with bail set at $100,000 personal recognizance.
Christopher Skinner, 25, of 4 Collyer St. in Providence, was arraigned on the same charges in Sixth Division District Court, with bail set at $5,000 with surety. He was also held as a Superior Court probation violator relating to a previous charge of failure to register as a sex offender. Martenseon is also a registered sex offender.
According to state police, ICAC Task Force members engage in undercover investigative operations to identify subjects using the Internet to exploit children.
On Tuesday, members of the Task Force, along with local and federal law enforcement partners, executed 11 court-authorized search warrants at residences throughout the state in connection with ongoing undercover investigations.
Those searches yielded “assorted digital media … which contained evidence related to the victimization of children and technology-facilitated crimes,” according to police.
A person found guilty of possession of child pornography or transfer of child pornography may be imprisoned up to five years and subject to a maximum fine of $5,000.
In addition to the men facing child pornography charges, two others were arrested as part of the recent operation.
David Harris, 60, of 45 Taft Avenue in Providence, is charged with indecent solicitation of a minor and third-degree sexual assault for allegedly soliciting a 14-year-old girl for sexual purposes. The arrest resulted from a complaint initiated with the Foster Police Department and subsequently investigated by the Task Force.
Harris was arraigned in Sixth Division District Court and released on bail of $10,000 with surety, with the same special conditions imposed as with the other men charged.
Eduardo Guzman, 20, of 218 Pleasant St. in Providence, was arrested on a charge of video voyeurism after a Task Force investigation “showed him allegedly recording a female subject in the bathroom and bedroom of his residence without her knowledge or consent.” The information that led to the arrest came through computer equipment seized during a previous arrest on charges of possession and transfer of child pornography.
Guzman was released on $5,000 personal recognizance with the same set of special conditions.
The ICAC Task Force is comprised of members of the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit along with detectives from the Coventry, Warwick, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, North Kingstown, Jamestown, Portsmouth and Bristol police departments and special agents from Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Services.