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Red Bluff man arrested in multi-agency child-predator operation – Red Bluff Daily News | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


REDDING — A Red Bluff man was arrested recently in a multi-agency child-predator operation conducted by California law enforcement.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the Sacramento Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and 29 different federal and local law enforcement agencies in Northern California to conduct a large Cybertip operation targeting child predators, according to a press release issued Friday by the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office.

The operation resulted in the execution of 37 warrants and 23 arrests. The Shasta County major crimes unit and interagency narcotics task force made three arrests.

William Thomas Barron Jr., 31, of Red Bluff, was arrested on June 20. He was charged with possessing more than 600 images of child sexual abuse material, distribution of child sexual abuse material and possession of child sexual abuse material.

An ICAC CyberTip led to an investigation into Barron, the release said. During this investigation, Barron was found to have possessed and distributed child sexual abuse material on a social media platform.

Robert Kellen Benefield, 40, of Anderson, was arrested on June 21. He was charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a child and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

Benefield had been reported to have been engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor victim for several months, the release said. Through further investigation, detectives were able to corroborate these allegations. A search warrant was served at a residence in Anderson, and Benefield was located sleeping with the minor victim in a detached shed on the property. During an evidence review, detectives located child sexual abuse material containing sexual conduct between Benefield and the minor victim.

Michael Chaudhry, 29, of Redding, was arrested on June 22. He was charged with possessing child sexual abuse material and resisting or delaying a peace officer.

During a previous investigation, it was determined Chaudhry had solicited child sexual abuse material from a separate suspect, the release said. When detectives went to speak to Chaudhry, he showed the detectives messages that contained child sexual abuse material. When detectives seized his device, Chaudhry became resistive and attempted to prevent detectives from seizing his device.



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