New Mexico

Man gets 170 years in prison for child porn, human smuggling convictions

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico - A federal judge has handed sentencing to a New Mexico man convicted on charges of child pornography and human smuggling.

34 year-old Samuel Elliott was sentenced by a U.S. District Judge to 170 years in prison. Elliott's sentencing stems from a combination of charges he was convicted for in two separate federal cases.

In July 2013, New Mexico State Police, which contains members of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, executed a search warrant at Elliott's residence, where his iPhone, a desktop computer, and a hard-drive were seized. Investigators also executed a search warrant on Elliott's Dropbox account.

On June 26th, 2018, Elliot pled guilty to three counts of producing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct between December 2012 and July 2013, and four counts of possessing material containing images of child pornography.

During his plea agreement, Elliott admitted to using a video camera to record a video of himself engaging in sexually explicit conduct with a child between one and five years of age, as well as using a video camera to produce sexually explicit visual depictions of a sleeping child between five and eleven years of age. Elliott also admitted to using an iPhone to produce sexually explicit depictions of a third child who was between one and five years of age.

Forensic examinations recovered thousands of child pornography from his iPhone, 48 images of child pornography from the hard-drive, about 300 images of child pornography from the desktop computer, and 72 videos of child pornography from his Dropbox online storage account. As part of his plea agreement, Elliot acknowledged the search warrants and forensic examinations.

All of Elliot's crimes were allegedly committed in Luna County, New Mexico.

In a separate federal case, Elliott and his brother, 35 year-old Robert Steven Elliott, II, were charged with a criminal complaint for conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants on August 28th, 2013, in Luna County, New Mexico. Both brothers were indicted on the same charge on December 11th, 2013.

On March 20th, 2014, Elliot pled guilty and was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Robert Steven Elliot pled guilty to the same charge on October 1st, 2014, and was sentenced to time served followed by three years of supervised release.

In addition to the 170 year prison sentence given on Monday, which is a concurrent sentence imposed by both cases, Elliott was also ordered to pay $210,012 in restitution to each of the three children victimized by his child pornography production scheme.

"The Las Cruces Police Department is honored to work alongside our counterparts, from local and federal agencies, to help protect our children from offenders that are poisoning our communities," said Las Cruces Police Deputy Chief Justin Dunivan.  "We believe our actions will have a significant impact and ensure that the defendant never harms another child."

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