MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE / KGPE) – Detectives have arrested three teenagers and a man in his thirties over three separate cases of possession and distribution of child sexual abuse images, county sheriff officials say from Madera.
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 several cases of possession and distribution of sexual abuse images on of children that have been downloaded from the Internet in Madeira County.
Detectives from the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said they immediately began investigating and successfully arrested four suspects in the county.
Officials say in October 2021 two 14-year-old boys were arrested and jailed at Madera County Juvenile Hall on several felony charges, including possession and distribution of child sexual abuse images, distribution of material harmful to a known person and criminal harassment.
The two teenagers were also trying to extort the child victim through “various means,” according to Madera County Sheriff officials.
Investigators say that in an unrelated case, detectives learned that images of child sexual abuse were uploaded by a 15-year-old boy from a residence in Madera Ranchos.
After conducting a search warrant on the house, detectives said they were able to arrest and reserve the teenager at Madera County Juvenile Hall on felony charges of possession and distribution of child sexual abuse images.
According to officials, detectives also launched another investigation after receiving intelligence from NCMEC via the Madera Police Department. MPs say investigators were able to identify a residence in the community of Riverstone as the source of the images of child sexual abuse.
Authorities say a search warrant was served on the residence and that 33-year-old Michael Diaz was arrested and held in Madera County Jail on felony charges of possession and distribution of images of child sexual abuse.
Following the investigations and arrests, Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue said he was proud of the unit’s team while investigating the information.
“I am proud of the tremendous work done by this investigative team on each of these cases which has resulted in multiple arrests of offenders using the Internet to victimize children,” Pogue said. “We are grateful to maintain an excellent working relationship with our partners in the Madera Police Department and the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to facilitate joint investigations in our community. “