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Monday, August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020
Photo via Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

An undercover operation in California led to the arrest of nearly three dozen suspected child predators this week. Officials in Fresno confirmed operation “COVID Chat Down” resulted in the arrest of 34 men, all of whom have been accused of attempting to meet up with children to solicit sex.

The operation took place from the end of July through Sunday. Officers posed as children to interact with the men through online apps.

While many have celebrated their work, police emphasized more victims could still be out there and have urged them to come forward.

“Even though it’s gratifying to catch these criminals that we are talking about today, I can’t help but think about who we are missing, how many children are being victimized by suspects like this, and we don’t know about them,” stated Fresco Sheriff Margaret Mims. “So, we encourage the public’s help in identifying these predators.”

Due to the pandemic lockdown, children have reportedly been more active online, which makes them easier targets.

Authorities have said they will continue the operation and believe more arrests could be made in the coming months.


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