Santa Barbara, Calif. – Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Bureau have concluded a month-long sex offender operation that included over 100 compliance checks and a sting that netted 3 arrests.
Detectives visited the residences of registered sex offenders in Santa Barbara County to ensure they were in compliance with their registration requirements. Detectives also conducted a sting operation using social media and arrested three suspects who had responded to the area of Turnpike and Hollister where they had planned to engage in sexual activity with a minor (felony). 24-yar-old Pottanapong Phakdeeviset of Camarillo was arrested on Friday, October 16, 2020, booked at the Main Jail and has been released on $75,000 bail. 37-year-old Scott Garey of Santa Barbara was arrested on Friday, October 16, 2020, booked at the Main Jail and has been released on $75,000 bail. 36-year-old Jak Touma of Ventura was arrested on Saturday, October 17, 2020 and is being held on $75,000 bail at the Main Jail.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind caregivers to monitor children’s social media accounts. With more children being at home during the pandemic, they are more vulnerable to being contacted via social media platforms by adult predators and traffickers. Caregivers should monitor children’s social media profiles, including comments and direct messages, to ensure they are not being victimized. Caregivers should contact law enforcement if they locate evidence of explicit communication on their child’s electronic device. For more information about protecting kids online, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
The success of the operation was due to the hard work and dedication of the detectives within the Criminal Investigations Bureau along with funding from the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Team Program and equipment provided by our partners at the Los Angeles Internet Crimes Against Children (LA ICAC).