IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. - The Imperial County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO) Investigations Unit presented Operation SAFE ZONE's results Monday, a task created to target internet sex crimes.
Operation SAFE ZONE was conducted during the months of February through November 2017.
ICSO Investigators along with other Imperial Valley agencies held investigations and prosecutions of people involved in child abuse and exploitation, child enticement and other sexual related crimes against children.Imperial County Sheriff Raymond Loera says he's satisfied with the results but there's still more work to be done.
"We're glad we're getting off the street but then again there are those type of people who are committing these crimes and we're trying to identify them," said Loera.
ICSO Investigators and its affiliates served numerous search warrants on vehicles, laptops, and cellular telephones and digital devices to include two go-pro cameras.
Child Enticement arrests involve adults who search the internet via social applications looking for young children to meet and victimize.
ICSO Investigators and its affiliates made 50 Child Enticement Arrests during this operation. The suspects were adult males willing to meet with a 12 to 13-year-old girl with the intent to commit child molestation and other sexual related crimes.
"All these individuals were procuring sex with a minor," said Lt. Jimmy Duran of ICSO. "They were all 12-13 years of age, and we want to send a clear message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. We named it Operation Safe Zone for a reason because we believe the Imperial County is a safe zone-because we're doing something about it."
Forty-one percent of the individuals arrested are residents of San Diego County, Riverside County, Yuma and Mexicali B.C. The remaining are residents of Imperial County.
The Imperial County Sheriff’s Office encourages parents to remain vigilant with their children’s computers, cellular phones, tablets and other internet-enabled devices.
Information on internet safety can be found at the following websites: