NATIONAL NEWS (NBC33) — The nationwide manhunt for an accused child pornographer ended last night in California.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports that the man known as “John Doe” was arrested on Wednesday, May 15 after a tip was provided to the tip line. He was identified as David J. Stevens, 58.
Officials believe Stevens is the man who appeared in four child pornography videos with date stamps of April 14 and 27. They were first discovered by the Danish National Police on May 3. The case was then handed over to U.S. law enforcement.
Investigators quickly ran low on leads, so they turned to the public for help. Less than 24-hour after posting the image online, a tipster provided critical information that pointed them to Stevens.
"This predator was arrested very quickly after the member of the public came forward to identify him," Kelly McMillin, Salinas Police Chief, said. "Thanks to a longstanding relationship between the Salinas Police Department and HSI, strengthened by HSI's presence at the Law Enforcement Operations Center in Salinas, both agencies worked together closely to ensure the suspect was captured quickly and vital evidence of his crimes was recovered. The Salinas Police Department is grateful to HSI and all our federal partners for their ongoing commitment to the safety and security of the people of Salinas and Monterey County."
Following Stevens’ arrest, investigators searched his home in northern California and found additional evidence related to the case.
The victim shown in the video is said to be a 7 to 9 year old child. Officials said the child was rescued, but did not provide any further details.
Agents believe there may be additional unidentified child victims in this case. They ask anyone with further information to call ICE’s tip line at (866) 347-2423.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.