“I am grateful to the FBI and our Spanish law enforcement partners for their persistent and successful efforts to find and arrest the defendant in Spain, and to facilitate his swift extradition to the United States to face these very serious charges,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “We are prepared to make our case as part of our ongoing efforts to protect children.”
“The FBI prioritizes the protection of children from dangerous predators and is fully committed to investigating criminals, regardless of their location in the world,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Those who make the unconscionable decision to victimize innocent children will be brought to justice. The FBI works with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to hold those criminals accountable, and I would like to extend my appreciation to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety for initiating this case and the Spanish National Police for their support in extraditing the defendant to the United States. We continue to urge the public to report alleged crimes of child sexual and physical abuse by calling 1-800-CALLFBI (1-800-225-5324), contacting your Legal Attaché Office, or submitting tips online to http://tips.fbi.gov.”
“Investigating sex crimes that involve children are extremely difficult to pursue because they cross jurisdictional lines and involve sophisticated computer activity,” said Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division Captain Rafael Diaz.“However, the Task Force Officer program that allows Kalamazoo Public Safety Detective Stolsonburg to coordinate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation means that sexual predators will be found and held accountable. This commitment does not waiver.”
The government expects the defendant’s initial appearance will take place on November 16, 2023, at the federal courthouse in Grand Rapids at a time to be determined by the court. Spanish Civil arrested Feliz in June 2023, in Barcelona, at the request of the United States. The extradition proceedings took place in the Spanish judiciary system, through which Feliz consented to be extradited to the United States in August 2023.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office worked with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) to prepare and submit a request for Kristian Ignacio Feliz’s provisional arrest, with a plan to seek his extradition soon after. U.S. Attorney Totten and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Michigan Cheyvoryea Gibson extend their appreciation and thanks to Spain’s Ministry of Justice, Spanish National Police, and Guardia Civil.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following website: www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Castle, and investigated by the FBI, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Department of State provided critical assistance in securing Feliz’s arrest and extradition.
The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.