SAN FRANCISCO—On Wednesday, June 3, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) released a statement announcing the arrest of four suspects for the possession of child pornography.
The arrests were made on May 22. The suspects have been identified as San Francisco residents Peter Bodin, 54, Anthony Jasso, 31, David Frye, 33, and John Pennington, 47.
SFPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit has been conducting individual investigations on the suspects since summer of 2019.
As noted in the press release, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, reports of online child exploitation have grown. The increase in cases motivated ICAC to initiate a Child Exploitation Operation to identify and arrest suspects.
The investigation for Frye’s case started in summer 2019. According to the SFPD, Frye was distributing child pornography through several mobile chat services. After the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office issued Frye’s arrest warrant, authorities booked him for possession of child pornography.
The SFPD received a tip from the Hillsborough Police Department about Jasso. The Hillsborough Police Department had been investigating a fraud case before realizing that their subject was also in possession of child pornography. The Hillsborough PD reached out to the SFPD. The San Francisco Police Department had already been familiar with Jasso due to his status as a sex offender from a 2015 case of fraud and child pornography. Jasso has been charged with the possession of child pornography, as a repeated offender.
The investigations of Bodin and Pennington both began in the spring of 2020.
Bodin had been uploading images of child pornography into an online search engine. With a warrant, the SFPD searched a location on the 100 block of Vienna Street. The investigators found Bodin’s electronics containing child pornography. He was arrested for two charges of child pornography possession.
Pennington had been emailing child pornography. In a search warrant that was conducted on the 1100 block of Chestnut Street, authorities found Pennington’s electronics with hundreds of child pornography files. During his arrest, SFPD officers located a cellphone on Pennington that contained hundreds of files. He has been charged with two counts of child pornography possession, along with a charge of having over six-hundred files of child pornography.
Despite these arrests, the investigations remain open. The SFPD is asking anyone with information about these incidents to call the SFPD 24-hour tip line at 1- 415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. Tipsters are permitted to stay anonymous.