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South Fla. customs chief arrested on child-porn charges

Image: Anthony Mangione
Anthony Mangione, the suspended head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for South Florida, was arrested Tuesday.Broward Sheriff's Office
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The head ofImmigration and Customs Enforcement for South Florida was arrested Tuesday after images of child pornography were allegedly found on his home computer, local media reported.

Anthony V. Mangione, 50, was arrested by U.S. marshals and taken to the Broward County Jail, according to jail records. He was expected to make an initial appearance in federal court on Wednesday.

Mangione was arrested on charges of possessing and distributing, authorities told The Miami Herald.

Federal officials remained tight-lipped about the arrest.

ICE officials referred questions to the Justice Department. A Justice Department official in Washington declined comment on the case. The U.S. Marshals Service did not return a call for comment.

Mangione has been on paid administrative leave since April when FBI agents searched his home and office as part of a child pornography investigation. Four images of child porn were found on his personal computer at his home in Parkland, The Miami Herald reported at the time.

The investigation continued and grew significantly over the summer, leading to the Internet-related, child-pornography charges being filed under seal, sources told The Miami Herald.

As special agent in charge of ICE’s South Florida office, Mangione has often praised the federal agency's efforts to fight child porn.

"Too many children are victimized by predators that target the most vulnerable among us — our children," Mangione said in a 2009 press release announcing the sentencing of a 20-year-old Palm Beach County man on child porn charges, according to the Herald.

In a 2008 press release announcing the sentencing of a Martin County man to 10 years for using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, Mangione was quoted as saying: "This case reveals the disturbing truth that child predators will go to great lengths to sexually exploit minors," the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. "ICE is committed to identifying and arresting these individuals who seek to victimize children and help ensure that justice is served."

Mangione's area of command covered nine South Florida counties. He was responsible for overseeing investigations into drug smuggling, money laundering and financial crimes, commercial fraud, national security and cyber crimes, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Mangione was reportedly planning to retire this summer. He has served his entire federal career with ICE and its predecessor, the U.S. Customs Service, according to the Herald.