By C.S. Hagen
FARGO - A federal officer who once hid cell phones in store dressing rooms to record females changing was found guilty and sentenced in Fargo for charges related to the exploitation of minors.
Michael David Rivera, 30, Bismarck, was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to seven years imprisonment, five years supervised release, and fines, after his conviction of Receipt of Images Depicting the Sexual Exploitation of Minors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota.
Rivera was indicted in North Dakota on October 6, 2016, but the State Attorney’s Office recused itself and the prosecution was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s, District of South Dakota. Rivera’s case was also transferred to Fargo since Rivera had a working relationship with courthouse employees in Bismarck, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota.
“It is appropriate that this former federal law enforcement officer faced a federal judge in North Dakota for his offenses,” U.S. Attorney, District of South Dakota Randolph J. Seiler said. “This case proves that no one is above the law, including those federal officers who have previously sworn an oath to protect and serve our nation.”
Rivera was a federal marshal who worked in the federal courthouse in Bismarck, and “had been surreptitiously recording a variety of women, including juveniles, while they were in fitting rooms or in other parts of area stores,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota press release stated. “Some of the surreptitious recordings captured women and minors in various states of undress while they were in fitting rooms provided by local stores.”
After search warrants were obtained when a Target customer made a complaint about finding a cell phone in the changing room, officers seized a computer from Rivera’s apartment and found more than 36 pictures and 52 videos including child pornography, some of whom were between the ages of six and 11.
Additionally, “the Internet was used by Rivera to access visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota reported.
Rivera was remanded back to state authorities to face state court proceedings later this summer. He is no longer employed with the U.S. Marshals Service.
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