Jul 28, 2014
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'Operation Chickenhawk' Nets 11 Arrests for Child Porn

Two men from Santa Clara and nine from San Jose arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography in a countywide sweep.

'Operation Chickenhawk' Nets 11 Arrests for Child Porn

Updated at 7:24 p.m. with additional quotes from Sgt. Jason Dwyer.

Detectives from 30 law enforcement agencies have arrested 11 people and counting in a crackdown today targeting child pornography.

The Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, which included detectives from the Mountain View Police Department, has spent the day executing about 20 search warrants in what it calls the largest child porn sweep ever in Northern California, termed "Operation Chickenhawk," San Jose police said.

According to San Jose Police Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a spokesman for the sweep, the suspects were all booked into Santa Clara County Jail on felony possession of child pornography.

"There may be additional suspects ... they're all from Santa Clara County," he said.

The operation proceeded without any injuries to the large amount of law enforcement personnel involved, Dwyer said, however one suspect suffered a cut in the head when he tried to avoid TV cameras as he was being walked out of his residence after being arrested.

"He tried to jump in the car really fast and bumped his head on the car and needed to get stitches at the hospital," Dwyer said.

Those who have been arrested so far on suspicion of possessing child pornography include nine men arrested in San Jose, and two men arrested in Santa Clara. Police noted that at least three of the men work in tech-related fields and one in real estate.

Yun Chen, Tom Truong, Valentine Hyjek, Lorenzo Caliva, Ismael Aragon, Brandon Hellewell, Davide Signorelli, Luis Benavides, and Robert Hernandez were all arrested in San Jose, according to police. Tony Silva and Mark Flores were arrested in Santa Clara.

Agencies that participated in the sweep include police from San Jose, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Mountain View and Santa Cruz, as well as the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Department of Homeland Security. All are part of the task force.

"It's a labor-intensive operation," said Dwyer said, adding that at a minimum, those who had been arrested so far are suspected of possessing child pornography, a felony offense.

Others may be suspected of distribution or manufacturing, Dwyer said.

Dwyer said that the task force anticipated finding about 20 suspects in today's search.

About 15 of the 20 search warrants being executed today were for properties in San Jose. The rest were in other Santa Clara County locations, Dwyer said.

The San Jose Police department, the lead agency on the task force, conducted 20 investigations that led to today's sweep, police said.

Since January, the taskforce has arrested over 40 men for possessing child pornography, police said.

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