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Two men in military support roles admit to exploiting children

TAMPA — Two men each face 15 to 30 years in prison for sexually exploiting children while employed in roles that supported the military.

Erich Clifford Mandell Ramos, 27, of Tampa pleaded guilty Friday to sexually abusing a minor while visiting a home at MacDill Air Force Base. At the time, he was a store associate in the base exchange.

He took sexually explicit photographs of the girl and instructed her not to tell her mother, a plea agreement states.

In a separate case, Michael C. Vella, 36, of Riveriew admitted to producing child pornography.

A 16-year-old girl reported that Vella had been forcing her to have sex with him since mid 2012, and at least once, he used his laptop computer to record it.

At the time the arrest warrant was issued, Vella was deployed to Afghanistan as a Department of Defense contractor, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported.

Mandel Ramos is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 12. Vella's sentencing has not been scheduled.

Both cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacie B. Harris.

Two men in military support roles admit to exploiting children 06/20/14 [Last modified: Friday, June 20, 2014 9:48pm]
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