“We must protect our children from those who prey upon them using the internet. Children who are victims of sex crimes, even attempted sex crimes, can suffer well into adulthood and throughout their lives, physically and emotionally. These investigations can also take a toll on law enforcement officers, and we thank them for their dedication to keeping our children safe.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona.
SACRAMENTO – On March 10, 2023, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper, and the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force announced the arrest of 18 individuals for allegedly attempting to contact a minor for sex and other related crimes. The arrests are the result of Operation Secret Admirer, which was jointly conducted by federal, state, and local law enforcement. The arrests have been referred to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office for potential criminal prosecution.
During Operation Secret Admirer, law enforcement personnel worked undercover, posing as children as young as 13 years old, to identify, contact, and arrest anyone who may be trying to target children for sex. In these encounters, suspects allegedly used sexually explicit language and sent graphic photos to undercover personnel. Once suspects requested to meet with a child, law enforcement directed them to a predetermined location and arrested them.
The operation was carried out from mid-February to early March and targeted individuals across Sacramento County. The majority of the arrests involved individuals who allegedly attempted to meet with undercover personnel.
Operation Secret Admirer was conducted by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and investigators from the California Department of Justice, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Sacramento County Probation Department, Elk Grove Police Department, Sacramento Police Department, Folsom Police Department, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, El Dorado County District Attorney's Office, Rancho Cordova Police Department, and San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.