A cyber tip launched an investigation by the Turlock Police Department that resulted in the arrest of a 21-year-old man, who had more than 300 child pornography images in his possession, according to the authorities.
The suspect, Jonathan Barajas Lara, 21, of Turlock, was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on felony charges of possession of child pornography and sending or receiving obscene matter depicting minors.
“We continue to focus our efforts in cases such as these for the victims of these egregious crimes,” said Turlock Police Detective Gina Giovacchini. “I encourage anyone who knows or suspects anyone who is participating in child exploitation to report this activity to their local law enforcement agency.”
A cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was sent to the Turlock Police Department on June 23. This tip was investigated by High Tech Crimes detectives and required a search warrant to obtain data and information to identify who was using the account suspected of sending and receiving child pornography. With the information obtained from this search warrant, detectives were able to identify a user and a location where the data had been downloaded, said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Parmley.
A second search warrant was obtained by the Turlock Police detectives and served on Thursday at Lara’s residence in the 500 block of W. Linwood Avenue. Lara was taken into custody at the residence and transported to the police department for questioning.
Evidence collected included more than 300 child pornography images. Detectives do not believe there are any local victims in this case.
A forensic analysis of Lara’s electronic devices could potentially result in additional charges, Parmley said.
The Turlock Police Department asks that anyone with information regarding this investigation to call Detective Gina Giovacchini at (209) 668-6539. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.