A Portales man was arrested Wednesday and charged with 167 counts of sexual exploitation of children under 18 years of age.
Robert Hawkins, 43, is currently being held on a $15,000 cash only bond at the Roosevelt County Detention Center.
According to court documents:
• The New Mexico State Attorney’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Division notified the Portales Police Department on Nov. 21, 2012 of a suspect in the area who had downloaded multiple files of child pornography between August 2012 and November 2012.
• Hawkin’s Internet Protocol (IP) address was used to locate his home. A day later, two laptop computers were seized during a search warrant executed on Hawkins’ home. Both computers were found to have more than 160 confirmed or suspected files of child pornography.
• Hawkins was quoted in court documents as telling Portales police during an interview that both laptops belonged to him.
• Though the computers were confiscated by police in November 2012, they were not sent to the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensics Lab in Albuquerque until September 2013. The lab delivered a report of examination to Portales police, which showed enough evidence to have Hawkins arrested.
Portales Police Chief Pat Gallegos said the time gap in receiving the laptops and sending them to the lab was due to lack of manpower.
“We only have two investigators,” Gallegos said, “and for a while we had quite a few cases backlogged.”