Mulit-agency operation leads to arrest of 14 potential sexual predators | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

A collaboration between the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and the Paso Robles Police Department lead to the arrest of potential sexual predators.

According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office,14 men have been arrested and booked into the Fresno County Jail on various charges related to arranging to meet with a child for sex. The men range in age from 21 to 58.

The arrests are a result of the undercover effort called “Operation Boogeyman”, which was a multi-agency operation conducted from October 18 – 20. Deputies say the majority of arrestees have posted bond, been assigned a court date and released from custody.

Law enforcement say the basis for launching this operation is that children’s use of electronic devices and social media is higher than ever. A potential danger of being online more often is having an encounter with a sexual predator who is seeking out relationships with children.

To combat the problem, detectives constructed an operation to identify, contact and arrest anyone who may be trying to target a child for sex. Detectives posed as preteen and early teenage old boys and girls to use technology against these predators and safeguard children. During the investigations, these suspects used sexually explicit language and sent graphic photos to the detective pretending to be a child. All of the suspects were first to express their sexual desires and they initiated a time to meet with the detective posing as a child. Once they arrived to the locations, officers arrested them.

In 2020, a similar operation was conducted, titled “COVID Chat Down.” It lasted 14 days and resulted in 34 arrests. In 2022, Operation H.O.O.K. resulted in 19 arrests over four days.

Law enforcement would like to remind the public to be vigilant when it comes to visiting websites and social media outlets. Parents should also monitor their children’s internet usage and be aware of the software apps they are using.

If you experience suspicious behavior you can report it to law enforcement or file a cyber tip through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Operation Boogeyman remains an ongoing investigation and more arrests could be made.

Law enforcement say there is a possibility that the suspects in this case victimized other people. If you have any additional information, call the Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600- 3111, Valley Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867, You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

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