FRESNO, Calif. - A patrol officer with the Selma Police Department was arrested Thursday on a federal criminal complaint charging him with possession and distribution of child pornography as a result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Fresno County Sheriff's Office (FCSO).
Angel Landin, 45, of Selma, Calif., was taken into custody Thursday morning near his Selma residence. Landin has been on administrative leave from the Selma Police Department since Aug. 19 when investigators executed a search warrant at his Selma residence. Landin is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court Thursday afternoon. The charges against him carry a combined maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California.
"This case is particularly troubling because of the suspect's position in law enforcement and the public trust placed in him," said Paul Leonardi, resident agent in charge for ICE HSI in Fresno. "Homeland Security Investigations will continue to work closely with its law enforcement partners to investigate those who sexually exploit innocent children and ensure these sexual predators feel the full weight of the law."
Suspicions about Landin initially arose after ICE HSI agents investigating the distribution of child pornography using peer-to-peer file sharing software determined that a computer at the police officer's residence had received multiple image files of child pornography over the Internet.
During a subsequent search of Landin's residence, agents seized a desktop computer with two user profile names, "Angel" and "Koplak." A forensic analysis of that computer revealed eight child pornography videos depicting nude girls performing oral sex on adult men and a 4 to 6-year-old girl being sexually penetrated by an adult male. Landin told agents he gets aroused watching movies and reading stories involving incest and admitted searching LimeWire for files relating such material.
This investigation is part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.
As part of Operation Predator, ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
Through Project Safe Childhood, the Department of Justice is seeking to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.