Investigators spent a month tracking child porn on the Internet, finding images considered too graphic to even describe, and eventually arresting two dozen people, most of them here in San Diego.
Operation Artemis, as it was dubbed, has resulted in the arrests of 23 people in San Diego and one person in New Jersey.
In making the announcement at a 10 a.m. news conference Friday, law enforcement from state, federal, and local agencies in San Diego County came together, saying they are sending a message that the exploitation of children will not be tolerated.
"The charges include possession of images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, distribution of images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, enticement of a minor, coercion and enticement of a minor and attempt," according to U.S. Attorney Karen Hewitt.
"The descriptions include still pictures and video of young children." Hewitt said. "The images unfortunately are too graphic for me to describe here, but I can tell you that some of the illegal images involved an infant being sexually abused and young toddlers being sexually abused."
Other pictures involved young children being raped or adults committing anal sex on young children, Hewitt said. In five of the cases, children were bound and sexually abused.
The following individuals are facing various charges:
Samir Bebawy, 69, of La Mesa
Jeffrey Lee McDaniel, 42, of La Mesa
Richard Paul Shaw, 42, of Del Mar
Timothy David McCracken, 27, of El Cajon
Llewellyn Hartzog, 57 of Oceanside
Javier Anastacio Morales, 29 of San Diego
Cyril Michael Flavin, 50, of San Diego
Jerry Lee Jennings, 69, of San Diego
Jerome Welch, 65, of San Diego
Kevin Gregan, 38, of San Diego
Nicolas Piazza, 68, of San Diego
Kim Alan Cousins, 47, of La Mesa
Steven Wayne Bridgeman, 32, of San Diego
Parish Lamont Goynes, 37, of San Diego
Christopher T. Cleary, 36, of Annandale, NJ
Charles A. Lipari, no age given, of San Diego
Jaime E. Hernandez, 32, of San Diego
Gustavo Garcia, 37, of El Centro
Keith Anderson, 41, of San Diego
James Dennis Wickline, 53, of San Diego
Investigators are not sure who the victims in the images are or where they are located. The children could be from different parts of the world.
"Unfortunately, too many people do not realize the real threat to kids online," she added. "Every time that kids log onto the Internet, even when children are home with their parents in the next room, they are at risk to predators."