Two Riverside County men were arrested on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography online, the Riverside Police Department said Tuesday.
Steven Rosales, 30, of Perris, and John Micklow, 21, of Riverside, were arrested after a months-long investigation that started after authorities received tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, authorities said.
The tips alleged that the two men used different social media platforms to share the disturbing videos and photos, Riverside Police said. It is unclear which platforms were used.
The sexually exploitative videos depicted “very young children,” police said.
Rosales was arrested on January 11 at a home in Perris, where police found more child pornography on his electronic devices, police said.
Micklow was arrested last Friday at a home in Riverside, authorities said.
Both men were booked into a Riverside jail on possessing and sending obscene matter charges.
Rosales was being held on $10,000 bail and Micklow’s was set at $40,000, according to public arrested records.
“Unfortunately, this type of crime is growing with the expanding capabilities of the internet and the vast amount of information available to the public,” SACA Sergeant Rick Wheeler said in a statement.
Authorities reminded parents to monitor their children’s electronic devices, use parental control software to manage their internet access, teach children to never post personal photos and information online, and to never agree to meet in person with anyone they met online.
Parents were also encouraged to teach their children to speak to them about any online conversations that might have been scary or hurtful.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s tip line has received 42.9 million reports of child pornography as of November 2018, with over 15,800 victims being identified by law enforcement agencies, according to the nonprofit’s website.