Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes against Children Task Force
Los Angeles: June has been designated as Internet Safety Month, and June is also a time when our children have more free time and less supervision during the summer months away from school.
In anticipation of this, in the months of April and May 2017, the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) Task Force launched “Operation Broken Heart IV”. This operation resulted in the arrest of over 186 child predators.
The arrest and subsequent charges included Possession, Manufacturing and Distribution of Child Pornography, Child annoying, Lewd and lascivious acts with a child, various violations of Sex Registration requirements, and violations of Parole Conditions.
Members of the ICAC Task Force conducted over 1372 investigations and served over 387 search warrants. ICAC also conducted 65 Community Outreach presentations to over 2917 community attendees concerning Internet Safety.
This Operation used various avenues to locate, identify, gather evidence and arrest offenders who Possessed, Manufactured and Distributed child pornography; engaged in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; engaged in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (commonly referred to as child prostitution), and engage in child sex tourism (traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing foreign children).
Cushqader Rasul Warren, of Los Angeles was arrested by investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Warren used the Bandi-Cam program to visually record his computer screen as he played an online computer game called Wizard 101*. He would then post these videos on a computer social video site known as YouTube where he would offer Wizard 101 Game Cards to those who commented upon his video. These game cards are needed to enter a paid higher level of play for the game.
Warren would then respond to boys who posted a comment and exchange information with them. He then developed an online friendship with them on social media sites. Warren would then initiate chat sessions or video calls with the boys during which he offered the game cards in exchange for sexually explicit videos of the victim. Each of the victims identified so far are under the age of 14 years old.
As of the time of arrest, four victims under the age of 14 are in the United States. Based upon the number of under-aged boys who appear within Warren’s list of Facebook friends as well as the preliminary search of his computers containing hundreds of thousands of lines of messages and chat logs, this case has the potential to grow to 67 victims. The Case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for consideration with 15 charges being filed.
The Los Angeles Police Department arrested Calvin Goode of Los Angeles after receiving information from the Ventura Police Department, Ventura California, who was conducting investigations into the sharing of Child Pornography on a file sharing networks.
While conducting their investigation, Ventura Police Department identified Goode as being in possession of over 1600 vides/images of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). A search warrant was obtained for his residence. Investigators located an additional 1000 images and 1000 videos of CSE.
Jonathan Jones of Adelanto, California, was arrested by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Victor Valley Station after an investigated based on a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) determined that he uploaded several videos of confirmed child pornography to an online digital file storage company.
A search warrant was served at the Jones’ residence which revealed that in addition to the child pornography, Jones had sexually abused a 5-year-old relative. Investigators seized evidence that corroborated the various crimes Jones committed against the victim.
Dennis Brian Chambers, was arrested by the Fontana Police Department. Chambers, the president of the Buena Park School District School Board was arrested after thousands of pornographic videos and images involving children were discovered at his residence.
Fontana Police and multiple agencies in Montana have been investigating a group of individuals who were distributing child pornography online.
Keh-Tai Culbreath, an Orange County high school teacher was arrested by Fontana Police Department on suspicion of distributing child pornography. Detectives served a search warrant at his Lake Elsinore home and located electronic storage devices that contained hundreds of child pornographic videos and images. Detectives learned Culbreath is a part-time teacher at Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita.
The California Department of Corrections Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) conducted field operations in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. They made 273 contacts with sex offenders which yielded forty arrests for violations such as drug possession, weapon possessions, and violations of their special conditions of parole. DAPO uses a Global Positioning System as a tool to assist with supervision of active state parolees.
Senior Investigators from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office conducted proactive Internet investigations for possession and distribution of child pornography. Search warrants were served in San Pedro, Venice, Chatsworth, Tarzana, Calabasas, Aqua Dulce, and Riverside. Seven men were arrested for those violations. The suspects employment ranged from unemployed, business owner, to a civil servant, and retail.
One person was out of custody on bail appealing a recent federal conviction for bribery. At one location, the suspect had two computers simultaneously downloading child pornography upon their entry. Thousands of images of Child Pornography were found.
LA DA Senior Investigators also conducted a parole/probation compliance check in the Antelope Valley of Los Angeles County for those that had been convicted of possessing child pornography and other child sex offenses. A total of eight residences were searched. Three men were found to be possessing material in violation of their parole/probation status and were arrested.
The number of arrest and prosecution is expected to grow as our forensic personnel review cases and extract evidence of on-going investigations.
These cases depict the dedicated members of the task force who investigate and arrest person who prey on children. Although technology assists them in their work there is no “app” for tenacious and quality detective work.
As technology flourishes, it also gives those who choose to prey on children more readily available devices and opportunities to contact children for the purposes of sexual exploitation. It is imperative that everyone, as individuals and a community become informed and vigilant to root out and report these predators. Awareness is important to keep our children safe while in the “digital playground”. Parents should be especially informed and vigilant.
A few tips include:
Parents should monitor their child’s cellular telephone, computer and other digital devices, such as tablets and gaming devices. Ask about contacts and applications.
Establish specific times when access to the internet or devices is permitted and keep that schedule.
Limit the length of access time. This will encourage your child to go directly to the information required, rather than aimlessly wander or surf the Internet.
Explain to children that many sites on the Internet are not appropriate for children or young adults, and they are expected to stay away from them.
Make it clear to children that you are aware that there is inappropriate material on the Internet, and that looking at such material is forbidden.
Explain that if a website’s address has adult language in it, the site is not to be visited.
If the child has access to a credit card, instruct the child never to give it out over the internet.
Instruct children to talk to them or a trusted adult, if he or she ever finds anything on the Internet that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Encourage communication with your children. Ask about their Internet experiences and what they have learned.
Persons may report inappropriate material and attempts to contact children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). As part of its Congressional authorization, NCMEC has created a unique public and private partnership to build a coordinated, national response to the problem of missing and sexually exploited children, establish a missing children hotline and serve as the national clearinghouse for information related to these issues. They can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days week at 1800 THE LOST (1-800-843-5678) or cybertipline.com. Information can also be reported to WeTip at 1-800-78 CRIME.
LA ICAC provides training and information on Internet Safety to schools, parents and law enforcement agencies.
The partnership of local, state and federal agencies is essential in the fight against the exploitation of children for sexual purposes. Without the help and cooperation of these agencies, the LA ICAC Task Force would not have been able achieve the enormous level of success.
The affiliate agencies include:
Alhambra Police Department Anaheim Police Department Arcadia Police Department Azusa Police Department Baldwin Park Police Department Bell Gardens Police Department Beverly Hills Police Department Buena Park Police Department Chino Police Department Claremont Police Department Downey Police Department El Segundo Police Department El Monte Police Department Garden Grove Police Department Gardena Police Department Glendale Police Department Guadalupe Police Department Hawthorne Police Department Huntington Beach Police Department Lompoc Police Department Inglewood Police Department Long Beach Police Department Manhattan Beach Police Department Newport Beach Police Department Orange County Sheriff’s Department Ontario Police Department Oxnard Police Department Pasadena Police Department Port Hueneme Police Department Redlands Police Department San Bernardino Police Department Santa Maria Police Department Santa Monica Police Department Santa Paula Police Department Signal Hill Police Department Simi Valley Police Department South Gate Police Department Torrance Police Department Upland Police Department Whittier Police Department Ventura Police Department
Department of Homeland Security, Child Exploitation Investigative Group, Long Beach Department of Homeland Security, Child Exploitation Investigative Group, Orange County
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) United States Secret Service United States Postal Office, Inspection Service United States Air Force, Office of Special Investigation California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Parole) Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office Ventura County District Attorney’s Office Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, Investigations Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, Investigations Los Angeles Unified School District Police Department Ventura County Probation