FBI agents searched the home and office of Anthony V. Mangione, the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in South Florida, over the weekend in a criminal investigation focusing on child pornography allegedly stored on his computer, according to federal sources familiar with the case.
Mangione, 50, has headed ICE’s regional office since 2007. The agency has aggressively targeted child pornography, with Mangione frequently speaking out against “predators’’ who illegally share images through their computers. ICE also investigates migrant smuggling, illegal weapons exports, counterterrorism and drug trafficking.
Mangione, who lives in Parkland, could not be reached for comment regarding the searches at his home and west Miami-Dade office on Saturday. There are no court records indicating that he has been charged with any crime.
The ICE office in Washington, D.C., declined to comment and referred questions to the Department of Justice. Justice spokeswoman Laura Sweeney declined to comment, as did Miami FBI spokesman Mike Leverock.
As special agent in charge of ICE’s South Florida office, Mangione’s name often graced press releases lauding the agency’s efforts to fight child pornography, in both the cyber and real worlds. In statements, he talked about using technology to combat child pornography and his agency’s resolve to combat the crime.
“Too many children are victimized by predators that target the most vulnerable among us -- our children," Mangione said in a 2009 press release announcing that a 20-year-old Palm Beach County man was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison on child porn charges.
Mangione was planning to retire this summer. He has served his entire federal career with ICE and its predecessor, the U.S. Customs Service.
Federal officials, speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to comment on the record, expressed shock over the allegations.
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