General Crime

Shawhan Shams arrested after eight-month investigation trying to engage in illicit sexual activity with minors

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On Wednesday, June 12th, law enforcement officers from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (S.A.F.E) Task Force, Child Sexual Predator Program (C.S.P.P) and U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) apprehended an individual for engaging in communications expressing intent to engage in illicit sexual activity and physical abuse of a minor.

The eight-month investigation stems from a San Jose HSI special agent acting in an online undercover capacity. The subject of the investigation expressed his interest in meeting a minor to have illicit sexual activity and inflict physical abuse. A meeting was arranged. At approximately 5:35 p.m. (Pacific) the subject arrived at the pre-designated meeting location and was arrested.

The subject was identified as 23-year-old Petaluma resident Shawhan Shams. During the course of the arrest and interview, Shams admitted his intent to engage in illicit sexual activity and physical abuse of a minor and was also found to be in possession of items consistent with illicit sexual activity and physical abuse. The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency for the S.A.F.E. Task Force which is funded by the California Emergency Management Agency.

The C.S.P.P. grant is funded by the United States Department of Justice. There are 12 participating agencies that participate in both programs with the mission of reducing violent sexual assault crimes, monitoring sex offenders, investigating predatory crimes against children, and providing the public with information on registered sex offenders in the community.

HSI’s participation in the case is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

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