Two Sidney men arrested in child porn investigation

More than 150 people arrested in Canada wide sting

Two men from Sidney, aged 45 and 64, have been arrested in a nationwide child porn investigation.

Operation Snapshot III, involving 40 police agencies, swept up more than 150 people across Canada following an investigation that began in February. The local arrests were two of 29 made in B.C. alone.

Five children were rescued in the operation, which targeted child sex offenders who collect, possess, share, distribute and produce child sexual exploitation material online.

The 45-year-old man was charged with possession and making available child porn.

The 64-year-old male faces the same charges, plus a charge of accessing child pornography.

The two arrests in Sidney means there have been five related child porn incidents on the Saanich Peninsula in under two years. Corporal Erin Fraser of the Sidney North Saanich RCMP says there are more offenders in the community and police are pursuing additional cases.

“These people are in every community,” she said.

Fraser, who is a former member of the province’s Integrated Child Exploitation Unit, said this is a global problem, not just one facing the Peninsula.

“There are not a lot of (offenders) here,” Fraser explained.

“We have just been able to detect it here with some pro-active investigations.”

Two Peninsula residents were arrested last year on child porn charges. Another case involved a former member of the Sidney North Saanich RCMP.

Former officer Dale Lee Sheets faces charges of possessing and making child porn. He was arrested by West Shore RCMP in December of 2013. Sheets was suspended and a code of conduct investigation started. He was subsequently discharged but the RCMP has not said whether he quit or was fired.

In the most recent spate of arrests, police have stated the names of the men are not being released as other investigations continue and they do not want to identify the child victims.

Fraser said these cases should encourage people to watch out for any sign an offense could be taking place. These could be in form of information from shared computers.

“People tend to hide it very well,” she said.

Fraser added this type of crime means somebody — a child — is victimized.

“Every single image or video of a child that constitutes child pornography, is an image of a child being victimized.”

 

— with files from the RCMP and Black Press