STERLING, Colo. -- In late 2023, Sterling Police began investigating cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children including that an individual in the Sterling area had recently uploaded images of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). 

An investigation over several months identified a suspect as Benjamin Levi Ruiz of Sterling.

Ruiz is known to investigators as a felon who had been previously convicted of sexual exploitation of children.

Additional investigations led officers to obtain a search warrant for 501 State St., Sterling. On March 22, 2024, an operation was conducted to serve the search warrant using the Sterling Police Department Special Enforcement Team and Sterling Police Investigators.  Ruiz attempted to run from officers and was arrested for obstruction. The search warrant was executed and numerous electronic devices were seized. An arrest warrant was obtained for Ruiz on March 26.

Ruiz was taken into custody without incident at 2:30 p.m. March 27 at 501 State St. on charges of Sexual Exploitation of a Child (four counts of Distribution), 70 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child (Images) and 30 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child (Movies).