At about 12:56 pm Thursday afternoon, Turlock Police detectives arrested Jonathan Barajas Lara, 21, of Turlock, at his home at Avena Bella Apartments, 500 West Linwood Avenue, Turlock, during an investigation into child pornography.
Earlier in the month, the Turlock Police Department had received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tip was investigated by high tech crimes detectives and required a search warrant to obtain data and information to identify who was using the account suspected of receiving and sending child pornography.
With the information obtained from the search warrant, detectives were able to identify a user and a location where the data had been downloaded and uploaded from.
Detectives obtained a second search warrant, this one for Lara’s home, and served it Thursday afternoon, seizing a few electronic devices. Lara was also found at his home, arrested, and taken to the Turlock Police Department for questioning.
Afterwards, Lara was booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.
Throughout the course of the investigation, over 300 pieces of child pornography were located. None of them appear to contain any local victims at this time. Depending on the results of the forensic analysis of Lara’s electronic devices that were seized during the service of the search warrant, he may be facing additional charges in the future.
“We continue to focus our efforts in cases such as these for victims of these egregious crimes,” said Detective Gina Giovacchini. “I encourage anyone who knows or suspects anyone who is participating in child exploitation to report this activity to their local law enforcement agency.”
The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call Detective Gina Giovacchini at 209-668-6539.