Four Bay Area Men Arrested in Natl. Child Porn Sting

Saturday, Jan 5, 2013  |  Updated 11:33 AM PDT
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This is an arrest in Southern California.

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Four Bay Area men were arrested in a nationwide federal crackdown  on child sexual exploitation, a local Homeland Security Investigations  special agent said.

Nationwide, 245 suspects were identified by U.S. Immigration and  Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations special agents during  "Operation Sunflower" from Nov. 1 through Dec. 7, 2012.

In the Bay Area, men ranging in age from early 20s to early 50s  were arrested in Rohnert Park, Pleasant Hill and Sebastopol.

Residential information about the fourth arrestee was not  immediately available, according to Deputy Special Agent in Charge Tatum King  from the HSI San Francisco area office.

Three of the men were arrested for possession and distribution of  child pornography, while a fourth man was arrested for child sex tourism,  according to King.

The sex tourism arrest stems from an investigation with Filipino  authorities, King said

The four men -- all U.S. citizens -- have been indicted, King  said.

In the Northern California region, based out of the San Francisco  field office, 26 suspects were uncovered in the operation. King said this was  the most arrests of any field office part of the crackdown.

Nationwide, 123 victims were identified which includes 44 children  that were rescued from their abusers and 79 victims who were identified as  either being exploited by others outside of their home and included 24 adults  who were victimized as children, officials said.

Some of the victims were as young as 3 years old. Seventy of the  victims were female, while the remaining 53 were males, according to  officials.
   
 

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