Sacto 9-1-1
January 3, 2013
International child porn investigation nets Sacramento-area men

Two Sacramento-area men were among 18 people arrested in Central California as part of an international child pornography investigation.

From Nov. 1 through Dec. 7, the U.S. Attorney's Office and Homeland Security Investigations worked closely with local law enforcement agencies in what was dubbed Operation Sunflower to arrest people engaged in child pornography. Arrested from the Sacramento area were Albert Lee Mitchell of Sacramento and Robert K. Roberson of Citrus Heights, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Mitchell, 65, was arrested Nov. 6 following the execution of a federal search warrant. More than 40,000 images of child pornography were found on his computer, officials said. At a bail hearing in U.S. District Court, it was reported that Mitchell had been planning to depart the next day for Argentina, where he owns property. Children's clothing and toys were found in his luggage.

Mitchell was charged in a federal indictment returned on Nov. 15 and was ordered detained pending trial.

Roberson also was indicted Nov. 15.

In addition to perpetrators, the operation sought to identify child exploitation victims. The Central California investigations identified a 7-year-old girl with disabilities who was rescued Nov. 6 following the arrest of Bradley Vaine, 26, or Fresno. Vaine, a convicted sex offender, was charged Nov. 15 in a two-count federal indictment with receipt and distribution of child pornography and is in federal custody.

In total, officials reported, Operation Sunflower led to 245 arrests in the United States and overseas.

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