Authorities arrested a man accused of producing child pornography and sexually abusing minors, including a child who was just 13-months-old.
Homeland Security agents said 40-year-old Benjamin Cuadrado was arrested at his Lakeland home on March 25th after a search that started in Miami beach, went to Las Vegas and ended back in Florida.
"We've arrested one of the worst child predators operating in our Florida area," said Homeland Security Special Agent Alysa Erichs. "More importantly, we have rescued two minor children from repeated abuse."
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The search started with a tip from the National center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Miami Beach Police Department was asked to help locate a person uploading child pornography images to a social networking site.
Officials said they arrested a man named Daniel Diaz for having child pornography on his phone. Authorities located a total of four videos of two children being sexually abused by a man whose face was partially visible in the footage. The investigation eventually lead to Las Vegas where another man was arrested for possession and distribution of child porn. That led to Cuadrado's arrest in Lakeland.
"He reportedly admitted to over 40 sexual acts with the two minor children over a period of a year, from January of 2012 to as recently as January of 2014," Erichs said. "So we believe there are additional videos out there."
Cuadrado admitted post-Miranda to abusing two victims, who were 2-years and 13-months-old, officials said.
Authorities are protecting the identities of the children who were abused, but said they were not in Cuadrado's custody. Their parents, who were unaware of the abuse until recently, have been notified.
"Although we know we can't undo what has been done to these children, we can rest knowing it will not continue under the hands of Cuadrado, and that potentially he faces spending the rest of his life in jail," Erichs said.
Cuadrado is facing two counts of capital sexual battery of a child under 12. Federal charges are pending.