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Man Surrenders On Child Pornography Charges After International Manhunt

FBI

(Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A three-year international manhunt has ended with the arrest of a former Chicagoan on child pornography charges.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports, Francisco Mejia, 26, was arrested at O’Hare International Airport last week upon arriving from San Salvador. He had been wanted on a 2010 federal grand jury indictment on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports

Those charges superseded similar charges in December 2008 that led to a global manhunt.

The child pornography charges were a result of Mejia’s computer and his residence in the 4300 block of North Albany Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood, by the FBI Innocent Images Task Force.

Mejia was first identified by undercover agents working online as a possible distributor of child pornography, according to the FBI. A search of his residence was conducted in October 2006, at which time two personal computers and two CDs were found containing numerous images of children in sexually explicit positions and acts.

After being charged, Mejia was released on bond but failed to appear at a scheduled court hearing in February 2009, at which time a warrant for his arrest was issued.

The FBI tracked Mejia to his native San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador. Through contact with an intermediary, he eventually agreed to return to Chicago and was arrested.

Mejia appeared June 28 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez, and was ordered held without bond at the Metropolitan Correctional Center until his next hearing.

If convicted, he faces a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.