General Crime

* 11 People Have Been Arrested After Countywide Crackdown Targeting Child Pornography in Santa Clara County

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Detectives from 30 law enforcement agencies have arrested 11 people and counting in a crackdown today targeting child pornography. The Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce has spent the day executing about 20 search warrants in what it calls the largest child porn sweep ever in Northern California, termed “Operation Chickenhawk,” San Jose police said.

Those who have been arrested so far on suspicion of possessing child pornography include nine men arrested in San Jose, and two men arrested in Santa Clara. Police noted that at least three of the men work in tech-related fields and one in real estate. Yun Chen, Tom Truong, Valentine Hyjek, Lorenzo Caliva, Ismael Aragon, Brandon Hellewell, Davide Signorelli, Luis Benavides, and Robert Hernandez were all arrested in San Jose, according to police. Tony Silva and Mark Flores were arrested in Santa Clara.

Agencies that participated in the sweep include police from San Jose, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Mountain View and Santa Cruz, as well as the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Department of Homeland Security. All are part of the task force. “It’s a labor-intensive operation,” San Jose Police spokesman Sgt. Jason Dwyer said, adding that at a minimum, those who had been arrested so far are suspected of possessing child pornography, a felony offense. Others may be suspected of distribution or manufacturing, Dwyer said. Dwyer said that the task force anticipated finding about 20 suspects in today’s search.

About 15 of the 20 search warrants being executed today were for properties in San Jose. The rest were in other Santa Clara County locations, Dwyer said. The San Jose Police department, the lead agency on the task force, conducted 20 investigations that led to today’s sweep, police said. Since January, the taskforce has arrested over 40 men for possessing child pornography, police said.

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