Two plead not guilty to pornography charges
Prosecutors have filed charges of possession of child pornography against Portola Valley resident Stephen Wolf, 64, and Menlo Park resident Charles Vela Reyes Jr. The men were two of nine men arrested March 22 during a county-wide sweep of 11 homes by detectives from a regional Internet-crimes task force.
Both Mr. Wolf and Mr. Reyes pleaded not guilty, Mr. Wolf on April 24 and Mr. Reyes on May 23, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said via email. Both men are out on bail and awaiting preliminary hearings.
Attorneys representing Mr. Wolf and Mr. Reyes did not respond to requests for comment.
In the arrests, detectives seized computers containing pornographic images "and other evidence linking the men to the distribution and/or possession of child pornography," the Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
The Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, using decoys in Internet chat rooms, detected "a cluster of suspected child pornography users" in San Mateo County.
Over 100 investigators from more than 20 law enforcement agencies participated, including the Sheriff's Office, the Menlo Park Police Department, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and a "homeland security" investigative arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
"Investigators have found significant links between the possession and trading of child pornography and the actual victimization of children, including a progression by some suspects from fantasy (Internet child porn) to reality (sexual crimes against actual child-victims)," the Sheriff's Office said. "Frequent operations such as these help keep our communities safe."