In a law enforcement sting like the NBC show “To Catch a Predator,” seven men were arrested after arriving at a home to have sex with who they believed to be a 16-year-old girl, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said Monday.
Called Operation Baby Face Phase II, the sting happened at an undisclosed home this past weekend.
The Sheriff’s Department would not say in which community the home was located except that it is in Tulare County.
Six other men are suspects and could face arrest, and warrants are being sought to search cellphones, Boudreaux said.
An undercover female officer went online and pretended to be underage, Boudreaux said at a news conference. The premise she told those pursuing her was that she was visiting her aunt who was away, Boudreaux said.
In no time, she was pursued by several men.
Mike Boudreaux, Tulare County sheriff
“In no time, she was pursued by several men,” he said. “The public needs to know there are predators out there looking to take advantage of our children.”
She was on multiple social media websites, especially Facebook, Boudreaux said.
When the suspects showed up at the door, they were greeted by a female, then entered the home and were arrested by deputies.
Boudreaux said he would launch an internet awareness safety campaign to educate parents on how to prevent their children from becoming victims.
Those arrested were identified as Salvador Campos Jr., 35, of Orosi; Luis Angel Hernandez, 28, of Hanford; Jesus Angel Narez, 23, of Fresno; Eduardo Prado-Casteneda, 26, of Strathmore; Serafin De Jesus Rosales, 27, of Earlimart; Mario Sanchez, 25, of Woodlakeand Armonda Paz-Rea, 31, of Hanford.
The identity of the seventh man was not immediately available.
The weekend sting followed a similar operation last week in which three men were arrested for operating an alleged human trafficking ring in which 23 juveniles and 29 adults were sexually exploited, authorities said.
Eleven men, or “johns,” were arrested for allegedly engaging in or seeking to engage in sex. A correctional deputy suspected of wrongdoing is also under investigation, authorities said.