Police in Virginia said they arrested 30 pedophiles earlier this month who were seeking to meet up with children for sex as part of Operation “COVID Crackdown.”

The online sting operation was created by authorities to catch predators red-handed as they preyed on kids forced to spend more time online and do schoolwork on the internet amid the coronavirus pandemic, hence the name “COVID Crackdown.”

Police claim each offender used online platforms to initiate sexually explicit conversations in an attempt to solicit sex from a child, not realizing that the “child” they were talking to was actually a police officer posing as one.

The pedophiles would then unwittingly arrange to meet up with the officers—who they thought were young children—and they would arrive at the agreed-upon location only to find a team of detectives instead, waiting to take them into custody.

The men, who were all from Fairfax County and ranged in age from 20 to 74, were charged with a combined 68 felonies. The arrests happened throughout the month of April.

Police said school closures and distance learning have increased children’s online presence, which now places them at an even higher risk of exploitation than usual.

“Our detectives have remained vigilant and they recognized the increased threat posed by online predators in recent weeks,” said Major Ed O’Carroll, Bureau Commander with Major Crimes.

“I commend their ability to adapt during this unprecedented public health pandemic and to do so in the interest of protecting our children and bringing justice to those who commit these repugnant crimes.”

O’Carroll advised parents to monitor their children’s online activities and make use of parental control and security settings to stop them from using sites and platforms that aren’t appropriate for their age.

He said parents should also encourage their kids to report people they find engaging in inappropriate conversations or trying to talk them into sending sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves.

People with information regarding other cases involving the exploitation of children or human trafficking have been asked to contact the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, Option 6.

Anonymous tips can also be submitted through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477) or by text: Type “FCCS” plus the tip to 847411.

If an anonymous tipster’s information leads to an arrest, they could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Details about each offender and his arrest are below:

Row 1 (From Left to Right):

  1. Cesar Vales II, 29, of Manassas, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  2. Halmar Lizama Henriquez, 26, of no fixed address, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  3. Juan Moreno Colindres, 65, of Maryland, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  4. Moises Aguilar Cano, 36, of Manassas, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  5. Renzo Portal, 26, of Centreville, charged with solicitation of a minor and soliciting a minor for prostitution
  6. Zachary Kearns, 31, of Oakton, charged with two counts of solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties

Row 2 (L to R):

  1. Carlos Deras Lopez, 30, of Alexandria, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  2. Franklin Galvez, 25, of Maryland, charged with solicitation of a minor and soliciting a minor for prostitution
  3. Jose Argueta Amaya, 32, of West Virginia, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  4. Mohamed Mansaray, 23, of Alexandria, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  5. Pedro Gonzalez, 50, of Fairfax, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  6. Yuson Joshi, 27, of Woodbridge, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties

Row 3 (L to R):

  1. Carlos Giron-Reyes, 22, of Woodbridge, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  2. Eric Womack, 36, of Washinton D.C., charged with two counts of solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  3. Jean Pardo Pesantes, 22, of Maryland, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  4. Jose Mejia Carabantes, 36, of Fairfax, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  5. Nelson Sosa Grande, 38, of Fairfax, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  6. Xavier Jackson, 24, of Springfield, charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties

Row 4 (L to R):

  1. Alfonso Diaz-Martinez, 36, of Sterling, was charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  2. Concepcion Gonzalez, 38, of Reston, was charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  3. Japher Flores Arriaza, 20, of Fairfax, was charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  4. Kumar Bhandari, 37, of Annandale, was charged with two counts of solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  5. Nelson Diaz Ramos, 32, of Annandale, was charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  6. Tod Rehm, 74, of Fairfax, was charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties

Row 5 (L to R):

  1. Adam Wheeling, 26, of Haymarket, was charged with four counts of solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  2. Christopher Barnard, 27, of Burke, was charged with solicitation of a minor and soliciting a minor for prostitution
  3. James Rosenberger, 28, of Warrenton, was charged with two counts of solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  4. Kirrolos Guirguis, 25, of Herndon, was charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  5. Naga Bollina, 42, of Ashburn, was charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties
  6. Thomas Kuglin, 39, of Chantilly, was charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties