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Multi-Agency Crackdown On Child Porn Nets 6 Arrests In Sonoma County

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(CBS)

(CBS)

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SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – Six Sonoma County men were arrested Thursday on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography, concluding an investigation involving 21 Bay Area law enforcement agencies.

The Sonoma County sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices, Santa Rosa and Petaluma police departments, Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety and the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted a sweep that led to the arrests, Sonoma County sheriff’s Lt. Dennis O’Leary said.

Investigators searched the Internet for people who were actively downloading and distributing child pornography, O’Leary said.

Search warrants were served on Internet service providers that then provided the residential addresses and subscriber information associated with the child pornography, O’Leary said.

Investigators then obtained search warrants for six residences in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park and unincorporated Sonoma County.

The suspects who were arrested are Robert Bruce Ross, 27; Joseph Armstrong-Mirabelli, 23; Thomas Oldendorf, 51; Todd Frank, 56, all of Santa Rosa; Garrett Pennington, 20, of Rohnert Park and George Hewitt, 49, of Petaluma.

The suspects were booked in Sonoma County Jail under $10,000 bail, but most of them have posted bail. They are scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court.

Stephan Tripp, 20, of Santa Rosa, was issued a citation for unlawful sex with a minor, O’Leary said.

Detectives did not locate any victims of sexual abuse at any of the Sonoma County residences, but did discover bomb-making materials and a suspected explosive device at one Santa Rosa residence, O’Leary said.

Seventy-three members of 21 law enforcement agencies participated in the operation, which also included the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, O’Leary said.

Other Bay Area law enforcement agencies involved included police from San Jose, San Francisco, Tiburon, Novato, San Rafael, Napa, San Mateo, Palo Alto, Fremont, Richmond, Pleasant Hill, Emeryville and Walnut Creek, as well as the San Mateo County and Santa Clara County sheriff’s offices.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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