Tempe man arrested for possessing child porn also had 'large cache of weapons'

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Hernan Aristizabal (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Hernan Aristizabal (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Investigators also found a 'large cache of weapons.' (Source: Tempe Police Department) Investigators also found a 'large cache of weapons.' (Source: Tempe Police Department)
(Source: Tempe Police Department) (Source: Tempe Police Department)
Hernan A. Aristizabal at his initial court appearance (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Hernan A. Aristizabal at his initial court appearance (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Tempe man is facing nearly a dozen charges of sexual exploitation of a minor after an IT manager at his company noticed “questionable activity” on his laptop.

Hernan A. Aristizabal, 54, was arrested Wednesday in the culmination of a joint investigation by the Tempe Police Department and the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The investigation was prompted by a tip sent to the National Center For Missing And Exploited Children.

An IT manager at the Phoenix engineering firm that employs Aristizabal “had observed questionable activity on an employee’s laptop computer while the employee was working from home,” according to court documents.

Investigators said Aristizabal had connected an external hard drive to his company-issued laptop.

Detectives served a search warrant on Aristizabal’s home.

“[D]etectives found the hard drive that contained hundreds of images depicting the sexual exploitation of minors, noting numerous images of prepubescent children exploitatively exhibited, and engaged in sexual acts with adult males,” reads the probable cause for arrest statement.

In addition, detectives discovered “numerous” CDs “labeled kids nude, kids erotica and other descriptors synonymous with child pornography.”

Aristizabal was booked on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, but suspected kiddie porn was not all investigators found in his house.

“Additionally, a large cache of weapons [was] located inside the residence, many of which were illegally manufactured firearms. The firearms were located locked in large gun safes located inside of the residence,” explained the Detective Liliana Duran of the Tempe Police Department. “The misconduct with weapons and possession of illegal firearms investigation is ongoing.”

Aristizabal made his initial court appearance on the felony charges; a judge set a secured appearance bond of $150,000.

Court paperwork indicates that police opposed bond because Aristizabal has family in Colombia. What’s more, investigators he was already planning to leave the state.

“It was also determined that Aristizabal has a booked flight scheduled to leave Arizona for tomorrow morning Thursday 3/29/18,” reads the PC statement. “Given the serious nature of this allegation, Aristizabal is considered a significant flight risk.”

If Aristizabal posts bond and is released, he will have to wear an electronic monitor.


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