SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. – The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office said they made three arrests recently after they partnered with multiple agencies to target child predators.
The SCSO said they worked with the Sacramento Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and 29 different federal and local law enforcement agencies in Northern California to conduct a large CyberTip operation from June 18 through July 1.
The operation resulted in the execution of 37 warrants and 23 arrests across Northern California. Three of these arrests came from operations conducted by the Shasta County Major Crimes Unit in cooperation with the Shasta County Interagency Narcotics Task Force (SINTF).
William Thomas Barron JR, 31, of Red Bluff, was arrested on June 20 for Possession of Over 600 Images of Child Sexual Abuse Material, Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material and Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material.
The SCSO said An ICAC CyberTip led to an investigation into Barron. 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 for Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child and Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a Minor.
The SCSO said Benefield had been reported to have been engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor victim for a period of several months. Through further investigation, detectives were able to corroborate these allegations. A search warrant was served at a residence in Anderson, CA, 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 Rizwan Chaudhry, 29, of Redding, was arrested on June 22 for Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material and Resisting/Delaying a Peace Officer.
The SCSO said during a previous investigation, it was determined Chaudhry had solicited Child Sexual Abuse Material from a separate suspect. 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.
For more information on the Sacramento Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force go to sacvalleyhitech.com.