When was Operation H.O.O.K. conducted?
From Fresno Police Department Operation H.O.O.K. Nets 19 Arrests of Potential Sexual Predators
A total of 19 men have been arrested and booked into the Fresno County Jail on various charges related to arranging to meet with a child for sex. They range in age from 31 to 49. The arrests are a result of the undercover effort called Operation H.O.O.K. (Hands Off Our Kids), which was a multi-agency operation conducted from November 2nd – 5th, 2022.
The majority of arrestees have since posted bond, been assigned a court date, and been released from custody.
Participants included members from the following 17 different local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
The basis for launching this operation is that children’s use of electronic devices and social media is higher than ever. A potential danger of being online more often is having an encounter with a sexual predator who is seeking out relationships with children.
To combat the problem, detectives constructed an operation to identify, contact and arrest anyone who may be trying to target a child for sex. Detectives posed as preteen and early teenage old boys and girls to use technology against these predators and safeguard children.
During the investigations, these suspects used sexually explicit language and sent graphic photos to the detective pretending to be a child. All of the suspects were first to express their sexual desires and initiated a meeting time with the detective posing as a child.
Once they arrived at the locations, officers arrested them. No actual children were ever used or placed in danger during the operation.
Law enforcement would like to remind the public to be vigilant regarding visiting websites and social media outlets.
Common apps used by suspects include but are not limited to: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, Discord, Kik, MeetMe, and Scout.
Operation H.O.O.K. remains an ongoing investigation and more arrests could be made. There is a possibility that the suspects, in this case, victimized other people who have never reported it. If you have any additional information about the suspects contacted during this operation, please report it to Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ericka Rascon at (559) 600-8144.