On Wednesday, September 21, the U.S. Attorney's Office of the District of New Mexico issued the following press release.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced that Nicholas Anthony Bianco was sentenced on Sept. 20 to five years in prison. Bianco, 38, pleaded guilty on May 6, 2021, to distribution of child pornography.
In September 2019 and March 2020, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) received notifications from KIK, a social media platform, of a user sending suspected child pornography through the app. The user account was associated with Bianco, who was a Technical Sergeant with the United States Air Force at the time of his arrest on Oct. 15, 2020. On May 8, 2020, New Mexico State Police (NMSP) executed a search warrant on Bianco’s residence in Alamogordo, New Mexico, seizing multiple digital items including an iPhone. A forensic analysis of the phone revealed child exploitation material.
In his plea, Bianco admitted that he used the phone and the KIK app to send two videos that he knew were child pornography. Bianco acknowledged that the victim in one of the videos was one to three years of age.
Upon his release from prison, Bianco will be subject to five years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender.
HSI investigated this case with assistance from NMSP and the Air Force Office of Special Investigation as part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Joni Autrey Stahl prosecuted the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
The ICAC Task Force Program is a nation-wide network of task forces including over 90 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in New Mexico dedicated to investigating, prosecuting and developing effective responses to Internet crimes against children.