Drugs, sexual predators the focus of Operation Wicked Web
• Arrests — 26 (25 adults and 1 minor)
• Search Warrants — 4
• Marijuana — 176.8 pounds
• Marijuana Plants — 21
• Concentrated Cannabis — 10 grams
• Hydrocodone Pills — 52
• Psilocybin Mushrooms — 9 grams
• Assault Rifles — 3
• Asset Forfeiture — $36,355
Suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale:
Joseph Fosdick, Los Molinos; Bret Phillips, Red Bluff; Micah Shaefer, Montgomery Creek; Frank Campbell, Montgomery Creek; Mary Ashlock, Red Bluff, Terrence Pirritano-Green, Cottonwood; Jesse Smith, Santa Cruz; Marcos Nunez, Corning; Donna Moore, Corning; Arlita Wyman, Red Bluff.
Suspicion of possession of controlled substance for sale: William Richter, Anderson; Timothy Brown, Redding.
Suspicion of meet minor for sex: Joshua Tanner, Red Bluff; Scott Elliot, Oak Run (also possession of marijuana for sale); Ocean Littlefield, Red Bluff; Ryan Lamerrill, Red Bluff; Carl Hooker, Corning; Chad Quinnell, Chico; Thaddeus Duckworth, Los Molinos; Sanule Skillen, Red Bluff; Scott Reid, Red Bluff; Gregg Harmon, Red Bluff; Jamie Halter, Redding.
Suspicion of solicitation for prostitution: Andrew Coffee, Red Bluff; Female minor, Red Bluff.
Suspicion of possession of dangerous weapon: Erick Davis.
An undercover investigation targeting criminal activity on the Internet in Tehama County netted 26 arrests over the past three months, Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen reported.
Investigators from the District Attorney's Bureau of Investigations worked to identify, investigate and arrest people who used the Internet as sexual predators and to deal narcotics, Cohen said.
The investigation was called Operation Wicked Web.
"This is a proactive approach to fighting crime in our county by getting to the drug dealers before their drugs hit the street. This same approach also stops child sex predators before they actually meet with real children," Cohen said.
Posing as buyers interested in narcotics, the district attorney said the undercover investigators arranged to buy and sell narcotics with people they met online.
Investigators also posed as underage children and chatted online with persons interested in having sex with a minor, reported the bureau of investigations.
Of the 26 arrested during the operation, three are Corning residents.
Donna Jean Moore, 45, and Marcos Antonio Nunez, 33, were arrested at 5:15 p.m., Nov. 15, near the Richfield Tavern on Highway 99W in Richfield, on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale and selling marijuana. Both were booked into the Tehama County Jail on $40,000 bail. Carl Brian Hooker, 44, of Corning, was arrested by a Tehama County District Attorney's investigator at 1:45 p.m. on Nov. 30 on Marguerite Avenue near Blackburn Avenue in Corning on suspicion of harmful matter sent to seduce minor, contact with minor with intent to solicit sexual activity and misdemeanor harmful matter emailed to minor. He was booked into the Tehama County Jail on $55,000 bail.
He has pleaded not guilty in Tehama County Superior Court to lewd and lascivious acts, contact with minor for sexual offense and attempt of a lewd act upon a child.
Also part of the sting were two men who posed as tutors so they could meet minors for sex, a social worker who serves to assist the mentally disabled, a man who had similar pending charges in Siskiyou County, a man with pending federal child pornography charges and a female minor who was prostituting herself, and a man looking for a female minor to engage her in the business of prostitution on his behalf.
"Four years ago we conducted Safe Sam, a similar Internet investigation," Cohen said. "To our surprise, we got a large number of hits both previously and in the current investigation."
The district attorney said the Internet crime investigation is ongoing.
"It is important for the public to be aware there are plenty of potential cases out there and we are continuting to pursue these types of Internet crime. The more we do this, the better chance we have of taking someone out who would have otherwise been able to prey upon a minor," Cohen said.