Estefano Lopez, 26, (Seen here) pleaded guilty in April 2015 to soliciting a minor by computer. According to court records, Lopez met a 12-year-old victim online and traveled to Fayetteville, N.C. to meet the minor, where he was arrested by law enforcement. Lopez was sentenced to probation. A condition of Lopez’s probationary sentence involved warrantless searches.
On August 6, 2015, Lopez’s probation officer, accompanied by officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, conducted a warrantless search at Lopez’s residence. Law enforcement located on Lopez’s cell phone images of child pornography, which were hidden in a password-protected phone application. Law enforcement recovered additional child pornography on Lopez’s computer, including videos of Lopez engaging in indecent acts with a young victim.
Law enforcement also located numerous chats that Lopez had engaged in using the phone application “KIK messenger.” In these chats, Lopez identified himself as a teenage boy, and chatted with others who identified themselves as 12 or 13 years old. Over the course of the chats, the defendant solicited pornography images of the minor victims, and sent them pornographic pictures of a minor, which Lopez pretended was him.
Lopez pleaded guilty to production of child pornography in February 2018. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.