Less than 24 hours after arresting a 52-year-old San Fernando Valley woman for her connection to a child pornography case, federal agents arrested a second suspect at his attorney's North Tucson, Ariz., office.
Lance Robert Fries, 43, of Tucson, Ariz., was arrested at 1:45 p.m. Friday by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. Fries faces potential federal charges of production of child pornography and is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court Monday.
The arrest of Fries came after the agency released photographs Thursday of an unidentified man sought in connection with a child porn case that involved the sexual exploitation of a pre-pubescent boy by an adult male.
The pornographic images in Fries' case were first discovered by special agents in Portland, Ore., in 2006. The graphic material was submitted to the Child Victim Identification Program operated by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which determined the victim had not been identified and was not linked with other known child pornography images.
Late Thursday night, special agents received a call to the ICE Tip Line, and investigators were able to identify the victim and confirm that the boy is safe.
No further details are being released about the boy's identity or his relationship to Fries.
Also on Thursday night, Letha Mae Montemayor, 52, was arrested
Montemayor has been charged with one count of child pornography production in a federal complaint and was identified by both her facial appearance and the presence of known tattoos, the agency said.
The arrests of Fries and Montemayor bring total arrests in ICE's Operation Sunflower to 247 suspected child porn producers in a five-week investigation that spanned 46 states and six countries and includes the Bay Area.
San Jose resident Michael Lindsay, 53, was arrested Nov. 8 at San Francisco International Airport on suspicion of engaging in child sex tourism in the Philippines. Laurence Pullen, 59, of Pleasant Hill; Terrance Tate, 41, of Rohnert Park; and Ruben Shells, 27, of Sebastopol, have also been arrested on suspicion of child porn distribution and possession.
Operation Sunflower is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide effort to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal sex offenders and child sex traffickers.
Staff writer Matthias Gafni contributed to this report. Contact Katie Nelson at 925-945-4780 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.