A 22-year-old La Plata County man who was wanted in New Mexico for “criminal sexual penetration” has been arrested in Durango on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography.
Anthony David Gallegos was picked up by the Durango Police Department in connection with two charges: one for having possession of child pornography and another for distributing it, both felony crimes.
At the same time, Gallegos was wanted and arrested on a warrant out of New Mexico for “criminal sexual penetration,” which according to state law, is the act of forcing someone to engage in sexual acts against their will.
According to court records, the Durango Police Department in June was alerted by a nonprofit organization that works to prevent sexual exploitation of children that someone on social media, possibly in Durango, was sharing child porn.
Investigators were able to trace posts made in April on the website Snapchat of child pornography to an IP address belonging to Gallegos.
A lengthy investigation ensued, court documents show, that discovered many other posts Gallegos allegedly made of child pornography. Investigators say he was in possession of possibly hundreds of images or videos.
On Sept. 1, authorities served and executed a search warrant on a home Gallegos was renting in the Aspen Trails neighborhood, northeast of Durango. At the same time, Gallegos was arrested on the warrant for criminal sexual penetration.
During the search, authorities seized multiple electronic devices.
“During (a) generalized preliminary search of image artifacts, (authorities) discovered over 100 images that contained obvious signs of child pornography,” arresting documents show. “(Investigators have) only begun to search through these images and has hundreds of thousands to still go through.”
It appears Gallegos is not in custody – representatives at the La Plata County Jail and San Juan County, New Mexico, Adult Detention Center said Gallegos is not at their facilities.
Gallegos has a court date scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 17 in La Plata County.