The former head of the Salvation Army in the Black Hills has been sentenced to 17-½ years in federal prison on child pornography charges.
41-year old former Captain Javier Moreno had faced a maximum of 20 years after pleading guilty last December to receipt of child porn. Prosecutors dropped a charge of possession of child porn in exchange for his guilty plea.
In addition to the 17-½ years in prison, Federal Judge Jeffery Viken ordered Moreno to spend 8 years on supervised release, register as a sex offender, have no contact with children under 18, and complete any treatment program he’s assigned.
Moreno will also pay restitution to his victims, but a decision on that was deferred for 3 months until both sides could come to an agreement regarding the victims. While 28 victims are seeking compensation, the prosecutors say there are potentially thousands of others – both identified and not identified.
Moreno had been serving with the Salvation Army in Detroit when he came to Rapid City in 2019 as its Black Hills Area Coordinator. The child porn investigation began with a cybertip that investigators linked to an account at the Salvation Army Camp in west Rapid City where Moreno was living.
The IP addresses were also connected to a wireless account associated with Moreno’s work phone. The social media platform supplied content from his accounts and a search warrant raid led to the seizure of 33 electronic devices and his arrest in June of last year.
According to court testimony, Moreno was in possession of more than a million images of child pornography showing at least 28 different victims. Judge Viken said the images he viewed as part of sentencing were some of the most violent and horrific he’s seen in his 33 years as an attorney or judge.
Moreno confessed he’d been watching and collecting child porn for 2 decades and sent some of it to other individuals. Several members of his family, including his now ex-wife, spoke on his behalf at sentencing, saying that they support him, are praying for him, and love him.
The defense asked for the mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, citing Moreno’s decades of public service and incidents in his childhood his attorneys said had started him down the road