Guerrero sentenced to 40 years on child porn charges

OKEECHOBEE — A former Okeechobee resident and suspect in the disappearance of a 9-year-old Fort Myers girl has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after being found guilty on child pornography charges.

Jorge Manuel Guerrero-Torres, 29, Orlando, was sentenced Aug. 14 to 40 years in prison after being convicted on one count of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

Amy Filjones, public affairs spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa, said Tuesday, Aug. 15, Guerrero will most likely serve nearly the entire sentence in a federal prison.

“He can get some gain time, but that’s pretty minimal,” she said in a phone interview.

Jorge Manuel Guerrero-Torres

Guerrero was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappel, who also ordered that he forfeit the cell phone he used to commit the offense. A federal jury found Guerrero guilty on May 16.

Guerrero was also the main suspect in the May 29, 2016, disappearance of Diana Alvarez. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies combed rural areas of Okeechobee, Glades and Osceola counties for the girl but were unable to find her.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) in Fort Myers is the lead agency investigating the child’s disappearance. A call to them Tuesday about the progress of their probe was not returned by newspaper deadline.

A criminal complaint by LCSO Deputy Sergeant Jody Payne, who is assigned to the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, indicated Guerrero and his brother lived with the missing child and her parents in their Fort Myers home for several months.

Guerrero and his brother then moved to Orlando.

In his complaint, Sgt. Payne stated Guerrero left his Orlando home on the evening of May 28 and drove to the Fort Myers area. He was reported in the area of the child’s home from midnight until 3 a.m. on May 29.

Diana was reported missing May 29 around 7:34 a.m.

After leaving Fort Myers, Guerrero drove toward Okeechobee then headed to Yee Haw Junction, stated the complaint. Records show he remained in Yee Haw for several hours, added Sgt. Payne.

“On or about June 3, 2016, after an extensive search spanning different jurisdictions, Guerrero-Torres was located in Okeechobee. Guerrero-Torres was taken into custody as a result of his lack of lawful immigration status in the United States,” noted Sgt. Payne’s complaint.

Guerrero was later taken to the Lee County Jail.

At the time of the man’s arrest he no longer had his cell phone. Sgt. Payne pointed out the phone was tracked to Daytona on June 3. A landscaper there told investigators he found the phone in a ditch in Orange County, and that a person named Jorge had called the phone and told the man he could keep it.

The Samsung cell phone was turned over to law enforcement and on June 5, 2016, a forensic examination was done on the phone. That exam turned up a number of ‘selfies’ of Guerrero as well as “… multiple images of child pornography,” added the sergeant’s complaint.

The child and/or children on the phone were not immediately identified.

When Guerrero was apprehended in Okeechobee County, he was in the process of making arrangements to flee to Mexico, stated a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Guerrero-Torres acknowledged that he had taken the images while living with the child’s family,” added the press release.

This case was investigated by the LCSO, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Okeechobee Police Department and the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office.

The case was prosecuted by chief assistant United States attorney Jesus M. Casas and assistant United States attorney Charles Schmitz.

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Guerrero indicted by grand jury, June 17, 2016, Okeechobee News

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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