SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake-area man is behind bars facing multiple felony counts related to child pornography.
He is the latest suspect busted by agents with the Utah Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Two weeks ago five FBI agents assigned to a similar child pornography task force were shot while attempting to serve a warrant in Florida. Special agents Dan Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger died that morning and the suspect later took his own life. It’s a scenario that’s always in the back of the minds of local ICAC members and why they take so many precautions.
Utah’s ICAC task force is one of more than 60 similar teams in the United States responsible for arresting dozens of suspects over the last 20 years.
“On average, we are out two to three days a week in the community,” said Alan White, commander of the Utah ICAC Task Force. “Unfortunately we’re busy! Obviously, we focus our efforts on those children that are being sexually exploited or sexually abused in the state of Utah.”
Agents say no arrest is routine and they watched in horror as the scene in Florida unfolded.
“Our hearts are still heavy for our colleagues in Florida. As I mentioned, there’s 61 task forces and they are part of those task forces,” White told FOX 13. “So, we have our immediate family here in Utah but they are our extended family in Florida and our hearts are heavy and we understand the challenge as well as they do.”
White said serving warrants on suspected child pornographers is not typically like dealing with armed gang members or drug dealers but it can be just as dangerous.
That’s because the suspects know once police show up at their door with a warrant in hand they are likely going to prison for a very long time...which can lead to desperate measures.
“Because we have to ensure everyone is safe! The public, the occupants of the home and all the officers involved in executing that search warrant,” White said.
Lino Gonzalez, 48, is the Utah ICAC team’s most recent arrest. He’s now facing nearly two dozen felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Gonzalez was already on federal probation for similar crimes a few years back. He is now being held without bail, awaiting his next court hearing.