A multi-state investigation has resulted in child pornography, stalking, and drug trafficking charges against Luis Manuel Montero, 19, of Cresco. His mother, Evelyn Sanchez, 52, also of Cresco, is also facing drug trafficking charges.
In April, Troopers from the New Jersey State Police and detectives from the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey received a report of an unknown individual attempting to coerce a 16 year old female to send him nude photographs through the smartphone application Snapchat. Investigators discovered that this individual, later identified as Montero, had several sexually explicit photographs and videos of the girl from when she was 14 years old.
Montero had anonymously contacted the girl multiple times over the past few years threatening to send the photographs to her family and friends if she didn’t send him more nude photographs. When she refused, Montero contacted friends of the girl through social media and directed them to instruct her to send him nude photographs using the same threat. Montero then sent nude photographs of the girl to those friends.
Investigators were eventually able to identify this anonymous individual as Montero. That’s when the NJ authorities reached out to detectives from the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney for help.
On Tuesday, June 12, detectives from the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney and the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, as well as Troopers from the New Jersey State Police and Pennsylvania State Police, arrived at Montero’s Paradise Township residence armed with a search warrant. Montero wasn’t home, but Sanchez was. Inside the home, investigators discovered approximately 11 pounds of marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, 11 sheets of “shatter”, which is a concentrated cannabis extract, and drug paraphernalia consistent with the sale of controlled substances. Additionally, several digital devices were seized for later examination.
Investigators learned that Montero was in Las Vegas, Nevada, but was scheduled to return home later that evening on a flight arriving at the Newark airport. Montero was apprehended at the airport when his flight arrived.
Montero later admitted to possessing the nude photographs and sexually explicit video of the girl from when she was 14 years old, using those photographs and videos to try to coerce her into sending more nude photographs, and sending those photos to the girl’s friends. Montero, who knew the girl from having previously attended school in New Jersey, said he did it as revenge for her no longer speaking to him and for her speaking to other males.
Montero faces felony charges in Pennsylvania of attempted production of child pornography, possession of child pornography, unlawful contact with a minor, and criminal use of a communication facility, as well as misdemeanor charges of corruption of minors and stalking.
Montero and Sanchez are both facing felony charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, as well as misdemeanor charges of purchase or receipt of controlled substance in commerce, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Sanchez was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Phillip Riley of Mountainhome and is currently free on $25,000 bail.
Montero remains locked up in New Jersey awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania and may be facing additional charges in New Jersey.