A former Senate GOP and Republican National Committee (RNC) staffer accused of distributing child pornography was arrested at his Washington, D.C., home Friday.
Ruben Verastigui, 27, stands accused of distributing child pornography between April 2020 and February 2021, according to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia which the Washington Post obtained.
Verastigui allegedly admitted to being a part of a child pornography ring during an interview with investigators.
Police executed a search warrant at his Northeast Washington apartment where he was arrested and found “several files of child pornography” along with a text conversation in which he allegedly discussed exchanging the explicit files and videos.
Authorities began investigating Verastigui last June when Homeland Security Investigations agents launched an investigation into 18 people who were exchanging child pornography.
At the time of his arrest, Verastigui worked for the nonprofit Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions as a communications manager.
“The details of the allegations against Mr. Verastigui are tragic and shocking,” the nonprofit told the New York Post. “He is no longer employed by the organization, and we are prepared to fully cooperate with law enforcement requests in this matter to any extent needed.”
Before he joined Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, Verastigui worked for two years in the U.S. Senate.
He spent a year and a half of his time on Capitol Hill as a senior digital strategist for the Senate Republican Committee; for nine months, he worked as digital director of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He was also involved in pro-life causes.