LATHROP, Calif. (KTXL) -- Lathrop Police Services Chief Ryan Biedermann told FOX40 that during a two-week investigation, deputies posed as 13-year-old kids online and made dozens of contacts with potential predators.
“We want to take bad guys off the street that are trying to hurt kids,” explained Biedermann. “A small unit has put up different ads and is monitoring activity, and it is just like the ones we’ve done in the past. It’s unbelievable the amount of activity there is.”
Eighteen suspects booked into the San Joaquin County jail, face a list of charges including contacting a minor for sexual purposes, contacting a minor with intent to commit felonies or for lewd and lascivious acts with a child.
Officials said the suspects traveled from across San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties and even from the Bay Area looking to engage in sexual acts with minors.
Biedermann said with school out and many activities still shut down because of the pandemic they have noticed increased child pornography activity online.