Five Marin County men were arrested Thursday following a countywide sweep of suspected child pornography users by the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children (SVICAC) task force, according to a press statement from the San Rafael Police Department.
Those arrested include San Rafael resident Carlos Martinez, 31; Daniel Dinneen, 22, of Fairfax; Charles T. Brown, 48, of Bolinas; and Mads Buemann, 48, of Larkspur, according to the release.
In Novato, police searched homes on both Aaron and Lark Courts, resulting in the arrest of the 16-year-old boy on suspicion of possession of child pornography, said Lt. Keith Heiden of the Novato Police Department.
All of the individuals were arrested on suspicion of felony possession of child pornography. Dinneen had two additional felony charges on suspicion of weapons violations. The adults were booked at Marin County Jail and the juvenile was cited and released.
A cluster of suspected child pornography users detected in Marin County led the SVICAC task force to conduct the operation, which began early Thursday morning after a 6:30 a.m. briefing with local detectives, according to Heiden.
According to Rohrbacher, in a on-camera interview with KGO news, the task force was searching for illegal material on computers.
"Imagine the worst of the worst and it's worse than that," said Rohrbacher in the interview.
"This is not 'Girls Gone Wild.' This is pre-pubescent children down to anywhere from infants up to maybe 8, 9, 10," Rohrbacher said.
Lt. Heiden said the sweep was planned well-in-advance -- an email listing the seven locations where search warrants would be served and executed was sent to coordinating agencies on Feb. 2.
Over 70 detectives from 23 agencies participated in collaboration with the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children (SVICAC) Task Force.
Local detectives included teams from San Rafael, Novato, Twin Cities, Fairfax, Mill Valley, Tiburon, and San Jose police departments, along with the Marin County Sheriff's Office, Marin County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and Homeland Security.
Officers armed with warrants searched seven homes in San Rafael, Novato, Fairfax, Larkspur and Santa Venetia in unincorporated Marin County, according to Heiden.
According to Rohrbacher, computers with pornographic images and other evidence linking the men to the possession of child pornography were seized.
San Rafael Police Chief Diana Bishop said “I am gratified that our agency was able to work in partnership with other Marin County law enforcement agencies, as well as detectives from the San Jose Police Department, to identify and arrest those who prey on our children.”
The 8-year-old Silicon Valley task force is one of 61 around the nation targeting online peer-to-peer file sharing evolving from previous investigative techniques when suspects often were identified through chat room decoy operations.
The task force has an eleven-county responsibility including: Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito.
Investigators search for hard-core images involving children, see who is downloading the images to individual IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, use search warrants to determine who owns the individual IP address, and then execute additional search warrants for those people’s homes.
A key feature of the task force arsenal is a mobile forensics lab that allows investigators in a technology-stocked van to drive up to a suspect's home, seize hard drives, and immediately begin searching for evidence that would normally take months to obtain from a State Department of Justice lab.