LA QUINTA, Calif. - A La Quinta man is in custody part of a nationwide federal sting targeting alleged child sexual predators.
Police arrested 26 year old Jarrett Wayne Martindale two weeks ago. They say he distributed and possessed child porn.
He pleaded not guilty and is being held on 50 thousand dollars bail. His trial is set for next month.
Martindale is among 255 people arrested during a monthlong, nationwide federal sting.
The arrests were made during the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Operation iGuardian. The effort was conducted by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations and Internet Crimes Against Children task forces as part of HSI's Operation Predator.
Authorities also identified 61 victims of child sexual exploitation during the operation, which May 28 to June 30. According to ICE, 24 of the victims were in online contact with strangers who sexually exploited them.
Their ages ranged from 7 to 17, but most were 13 to 15 years old. Of the 61victims, 22 were under the age of 10. Forty-two were girls and 19 were boys.
Of the 255 people arrested, 20 were charged with online sexual enticement of a minor. Other allegations included child pornography-related charges, traveling with the intent to have sex with a minor; and rape and molestation.
Four of the suspects were women, according to ICE.
Investigators found that suspects chatted online with minors about sexual topics, sent them sexually explicit images, encouraged them to produce nude or sexual photos and videos, and tried to meet them in person to engage in sexual activity.