Crime

He has 114,000 photos on his phone. Tri-City police say a ‘substantial number’ are child pornography

Manuel Marquez-Hernandez, 34, appears in Benton County Superior Court on three charges of first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. His defense attorney, Shelley Ajax, stands at left and Spanish-speaking interpreter Ana Armijo is next to him.
Manuel Marquez-Hernandez, 34, appears in Benton County Superior Court on three charges of first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. His defense attorney, Shelley Ajax, stands at left and Spanish-speaking interpreter Ana Armijo is next to him. Tri-City Herald

A Richland man is locked up on $100,00 after investigators got a tip about suspected child pornography being uploaded to a file hosting service.

Manuel Marquez-Hernandez was found to have about 114,000 photos on his cellphone, and “a substantial number” of those show children in various sex acts, according to detectives.

The 34-year-old father was booked into the Benton County jail just after midnight last Thursday night.

On Wednesday, he pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to three counts of first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Trial is set for Dec. 3.

Court documents show that the Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children task force received a cyber tip about suspicious images uploaded to a Microsoft OneDrive account between July 17 and Oct. 4.

Detective Scott Runge served search warrants on Microsoft and the internet service provider associated with the upload.

Both accounts came back to Marquez-Hernandez, who lives on Fowler Street, documents said.

Investigators searched his home on Oct. 4 while Marquez-Hernandez was there with his wife, young daughter and mother-in-law. Several cellphones, computers and tablet devices were seized.

Police immediately started the analysis of Marquez-Hernandez’s phone.

Three of the “more egregious images” show girls between ages 6 and 8 being sexually assaulted by men, court documents said. One of the girls is even wearing what appears to be a school uniform in pictures, documents said.

Investigators have not finished analyzing all of Marquez-Hernandez’s electronic devices for other alleged child pornography.

Judge Bruce Spanner told Marquez-Hernandez on Wednesday that if he posts bond, he must stay off the internet while his case is pending.



Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer
  Comments