LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- More than 130 people were arrested during a multi-agency operation that targeted internet crimes against children, authorities announced Wednesday.
"Operation Online Guardian'' was conducted earlier this month by the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes personnel from 102 agencies in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, police said.
"All one needs to do, as we do in the first step of going undercover and looking at these platforms, is to see the horrific volume of predators that are actively pursuing the opportunity to identify vulnerable victims and to abuse them and destroy their lives," said LAPD Chief Michel Moore during a press conference.
Charges included sodomy with a child under 10, lewd acts with a child, sending obscene materials to a child for sexual gratification, and possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material.
"Child exploitation crimes, as you know, have no boundaries," said Assistant US Attorney Joe McNally. "Predators operate online from different cities, different counties, even internationally."
Authorities urge parents and caregivers to help protect children by monitoring their internet usage and having open conversations about online safety.
"Pay attention to what your children are doing online," said Capt. Michael Peters with the Laguna Beach Police Department. "Jump into those things and don't lose sight of the fact that these predators are out there and they're searching."