Troopers arrested a Howard County man early Tuesday morning after a Maryland State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Investigation developed evidence of distribution and possession of child pornography.
The suspect is identified as Paulo Sousa Lacerda, 55, of Jessup, Maryland. Sousa Lacerda is charged with five counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of distribution of child pornography. He was transported to the Howard County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond.
Beginning in August 2021, the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit initiated an investigation into the distribution and possession of child pornography online. This morning, Maryland State Police, assisted by Homeland Security Investigations, Howard County Police and members of the FBI’s Baltimore Child Exploitation Task Force, served a search warrant at the identified residence of the suspect. A preliminary forensic review of the suspect’s electronic devices revealed multiple child pornography files. Sousa Lacerda was arrested at the scene.
The Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit coordinates the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. This is a combined law enforcement effort involving police departments across Maryland that is made possible in part due to grant funds provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth and Victim Services and by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. Task force investigators focus on identifying those involved in child pornography via the Internet and other related crimes that victimize children.
The investigation continues …