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HAMMOND — An arrest warrant has been issued for a 35-year-old Hammond man after investigators allegedly found hundreds of child porn images and video files on the man's computer and memory cards. 

Lester Plaza faces two counts of child pornography possession, according to Lake Criminal Court records.

A special agent with the Department of Homeland Security began an investigation into Plaza because an IP address associated with his residence in the 1500 block of Truman Street was being used to potentially make videos and share images of child exploitation, court records show.

Those images were allegedly available to other internet users for download, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday. 

Police carried out a federal search warrant on July 23, 2016, at Plaza's Hammond home, which he shared with his fiancee and children, where they seized computers, phones and memory cards. 

In an interview with police that day, Plaza allegedly admitted he downloaded images using BitTorrent, peer-to-peer file sharing software, but "never shared files" intentionally with other individuals. 

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He told police he never met with a child or had inappropriate relationships or contact with his children, according to court records. 

During a forensic analysis of Plaza's laptop, investigators retrieved 2,183 images from his recycle bin and 320 lost image files depicting children who appear less than 16 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to the affidavit. 

Another 233 images and 57 movie files were located on the laptop of children under age 16 engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to the affidavit. Seven movie files were found on a SanDisk memory card. 

All of the images and movies were downloaded to the laptop and SanDisk memory card between Aug. 6, 2013, and July 23, 2016, according to the affidavit. 

A criminal warrant was issued for Plaza's arrest on Wednesday. 

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Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.