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Woman accused of taking child porn photos is indicted

Photo: Letha Montemayor Tucker, 52, of North Hills is led away by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after her arrest on suspicion of child pornography on Jan. 3. Credit: Associated Press

This post has been corrected. Please see below for details.

A North Hills woman who authorities allege plied a young girl with crack cocaine and photographed her having sex with an older man was indicted Tuesday on federal charges of producing child pornography and child sex trafficking.

Letha Montemayor Tucker was named Tuesday in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury. If convicted of all the charges, Tucker would face a mandatory minimum federal prison sentence of 10 years and could get up to life in prison, authorities said.

The charges come a month after authorities sought the public's help in the investigation by releasing photographs of a man and woman depicted in a set of widely circulated child pornography photos. 

Tips started pouring in immediately after the photos were released, investigators said.

Tucker, who goes by the name Butterfly, was located about 10 hours after the release of the photos and taken into custody, said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles, a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The alleged victim, who was about 12 years old when the photos were taken, was located within a week of the case going public, Arnold said. She is an adult now and is cooperating with authorities, he said. In addition to photographing the girl having sex with the man, authorities say, Tucker also committed sex acts with the victim.

Authorities are still trying to identify the man in the photographs.  

The photos were part of a child pornography collection known as the "Jen Series." The 40-some photos were first discovered by investigators in the Chicago area in 2007. Investigators say images in the series have been reported about 300 times and have been found on computers across the country.

The victim "didn't even know these images were out there," Arnold said.

An arraignment for Tucker is scheduled Feb. 13.

For the record, 6:06 p.m.: A previous version of this post gave the incorrect job title for Arnold.

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-- Hailey Branson-Potts

Photo: Letha Montemayor Tucker, 52, of North Hills is led away by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after her arrest on suspicion of child pornography Jan. 3. Credit: Associated Press

 
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