For two days last week, law enforcement officers in Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, El Dorado and Placer counties were busy conducting a child predator sweep.
The operation, code named Operation TRAPS, targeted child predators and pornographers and was in support of the FBI’s Innocent Images National Initiative, a program designed to reduce the sexual exploitation and abuse of children over the Internet.
“Sexual exploitation of minors simply cannot be tolerated,” said Drew Parenti, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Sacramento field office. “We as law enforcement must do everything we can to protect our nation’s most vulnerable asset— our children. The FBI is firmly committed to this goal and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners allocating significant resources to combat this growing problem.”
Approximately 150 law enforcement officers from 26 federal, state and local agencies participated in the two-day operation, which was organized and coordinated by the Sacramento FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force. A total of 196 contacts and attempted contacts were made; 169 searches were conducted; 28 arrests were made for a variety of crimes, including child exploitation related crimes; and 30 computers were seized for further analysis. Also seized were numerous digital cameras, cell phones, external hard drives, thumb drives, compact discs, DVDs and floppy disks. Future arrests are likely once investigators have a chance to review the seized evidence, the FBI said in a release.
“Tremendous enforcement tools to safeguard children against sexual predators have been provided by Congress, the California Legislature and the California voters over the past decade,” said state Attorney General Jerry Brown. “The federal, state and local agencies are to be lauded for their coordinated enforcement of many of these tools in our region over the past two days.”
Among those contacted during the sweep were subjects of active federal, state and local sex crime-related investigations, individuals on parole or probation for sex crimes, and individuals who, as a result of previous sex crime convictions, are required to register as sex offenders with the state of California. In addition, law enforcement also contacted potential traders of child pornography who were identified through the use of advanced undercover techniques.