MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Detectives have arrested three teenagers and a man in his 30’s for three separate cases of possession and distribution of child sexual abuse imagery, according to Madera County sheriff officials.
Detectives say they received information from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) through the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program (ICAC) regarding multiple cases of possession and distribution of child sexual abuse imagery that was uploaded to the internet in Madera County.
Detectives with the Madera County Sheriff’s Office say they immediately began investigating and successfully arrested four suspects in the county.
According to officials, in October 2021, two 14-year-old boys were arrested and booked into the Madera County Juvenile Hall for several felony charges including possession and distribution of child sexual abuse imagery, distribution of harmful matter to a known person and stalking.
The two teenagers were also attempting to extort the child victim by “various means,” according to Madera County sheriff officials.
Investigators say in an unrelated case, detectives learned child sexual abuse imagery was being uploaded by a 15-year-old boy from a residence in Madera Ranchos.
After conducting a search warrant on the home, detectives say they were able to arrest and book the teen into the Madera County Juvenile Hall for felony charges of possession and distribution of child sexual abuse imagery.
According to officials, detectives also launched another investigation after receiving a tip from the NCMEC via the Madera Police Department. Deputies say investigators were able to identify a residence in the Riverstone Community as the source of the child sexual abuse images.
Authorities say a search warrant was served at the residence and 33-year-old Michael Diaz as arrested and booked into the Madera County Jail for felony charges of possession and distribution of child sexual abuse imagery.
Following the investigations and arrests, Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue said he was proud of the unit’s team while investigating this information.
“I am proud of the extensive work put forth by this investigative team on each of these cases that resulted in multiple arrests of offenders utilizing the internet to victimize children,” Pogue said. “We are grateful to maintain a great working relationship with our partners at the Madera Police Department and Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to facilitate joint investigations in our community.”