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26-Year-Old DACA Recipient Sentenced To 28 Years In Prison Over Child Pornography Charges

   DailyWire.com
Immigration rights activists take part in a rally in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on November 12, 2019.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Justice announced last week that 26-year-old Coyoami Miguel-Ruiz had been sentenced to 28 years in prison after being found guilty of using social media to entice minors into performing sexual acts and producing pornography in exchange for money. In a statement given to The Daily Wire, Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed that Miguel-Ruiz had first come to the United States as an illegal alien in the late 1990s and was granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status sometime thereafter.

In a press release last Friday, the DOJ announced that Miguel-Ruiz had been residing in Asheville, North Carolina, and had “used Snapchat and other messaging apps popular with teenagers to contact at least 15 minor females in the Asheville area for the purpose of inducing the minors to produce sexually explicit images and engage in sex acts with him in exchange for money.”

In the spring of 2020, “[Asheville Police Department] officers arrested Miguel and seized numerous electronic devices. A forensic analysis of the devices revealed that Miguel possessed dozens of videos and images of teenage girls engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Some of the videos also depicted Miguel engaging in sex acts with the minors,” the release noted. “As Miguel previously admitted in court, the defendant used the mobile payment service Cash App to pay the underage victims for the child pornography and sex acts.”

After being arrested, Miguel-Ruiz’s DACA status was terminated. DACA was created by President Barack Obama to protect children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents prior to their 16th birthday from deportation.

ICE confirmed to The Daily Wire that upon completion of jail time, the federal agency will seek to begin the process of deportation:

Coyoami Miguel-Ruiz, a 26-year-old undocumented migrant from Mexico, illegally entered the United States on Jan. 6, 1996, and was subsequently granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). On May 12, 2020, Miguel-Ruiz was arrested on child exploitation charges and his DACA status was terminated.”

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) lodged a detainer on Miguel-Ruiz with the Buncombe County Jail in Asheville, North Carolina, Oct. 14, 2020, following the termination of his DACA status.”

“On Dec. 16, Miguel-Ruiz was convicted and sentenced for possession of child pornography and using a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct in the Western District of North Carolina. Upon his release from prison, ICE will seek to take custody of Miguel-Ruiz and place him in immigration removal proceedings.”

A spokesman for the APD told The Daily Wire that Miguel-Ruiz’s case represents “how serious this type of crime is and how determined our detectives are in investigating it. Simply put, pornography involving juveniles and the solicitation for such heinous behavior is something Chief [David] Zack and APD officers take very seriously. And we are also appreciative of the other agencies who assisted to bring about this outcome.”

The DOJ press release notes that if Miguel-Ruiz is “not deported or later returns” to the U.S., he be will be ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.

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