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FARMINGTON — Tristalyn Valencia admitted in a plea agreement Wednesday that she distributed sexual images of a young female relative in San Juan County.

Valencia, 29, of Farmington, faces 10 to 15 years in federal prison for her conviction for distribution of child pornography, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Valencia's attorney, Tova Indritz, could not be reached for comment.

The child pornography investigation began while officers were looking into a fatal motorcycle crash in August 2012 in Phoenix, Ariz., according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Tyler Crocfer, a 22-year-old Farmington man, died in the wreck after attempting to flee from law enforcement officers, the affidavit states. Officers recovered his phone at the scene and found on it nine pornographic images of an unidentified child.

Homeland Security Investigations and the San Juan County Sheriff's Office investigated and were eventually able to identify the girl in May as a relative of Valencia, according to the affidavit.

Valencia told detectives in an interview on May 28 that she encouraged the girl to pose for the images and engage in sexual acts with Crocfer. She said she did it because Crocfer said he loved her, the affidavit states.

Valencia was initially charged in state court with numerous child sex offenses, but those charges were dismissed in December in favor of federal prosecution, according to court records.

Valencia will be required to register as a sex offender upon her release from prison.

Valencia was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a DOJ initiative launched in May 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse, according to the release.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644. 

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