Photo: arrested suspect
Originally published as a Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post –
“Please take the time to talk to your children about the risks associated with social media. Do it as often as possible and check in on their activity. A child’s expectation to privacy should not outweigh a parents obligation to keep them safe.
The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of World Wide Predator Hunters (WWPH), has made two arrests involving soliciting underage children with the intent to commit sexual acts.
World Wide Predator Hunters is a volunteer organization that uses adults who pose as underage decoys. In both incidents the suspects initiated contact with the decoy, who was posing as a 14 year old. The decoy made it very clear within the initial contact that they were 14. Within in minutes the subjects turn the conversation sexual in nature, asking very explicit sexual questions. As the conversations progressed the subjects describe the lewd sexual acts they want to perform on the 14 year old.
One suspect, identified as Conner Arellano (25 years old), initiated contact with the decoy on 2/9/21. The decoy advised that they were a 14 year old female. Arellano turned the conversation sexual within 24 hours. He arranged to meet the “child” on 2/14/21 but backed out. On 2/15/21 Arellano arranged to meet again near Pebble Beach in Del Norte County and showed up.
DNSO Investigators observed Arellano drive to the designated turnout. They were able to detain Arellano and he was arrested without incident. He was booked into the Del Norte County Jail on the following charges:
288.3 PC, Contact with a Minor with Intent to Commit a Sexual Act, 288.4 PC, Arrange a Meeting with a Minor for Sexual Purposes and 664/288 PC, Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a minor.
The Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office was also conducting an additional investigation that was initiated on 1/22/21. Jesse Shenk (31 years old) made arrangements to travel to Del Norte County from the City of Arcata to pick up a 14 year old (decoy) twice, but due to weather was unable to come. The suspect expressed being very apprehensive about traveling to Del Norte County. He even sent the decoy a link to an article detailing a previous, similar investigation conducted by the DNSO.
On Thursday, 2/25/21, Shenk traveled to Klamath, CA. Investigators believe he intended to transport whom he believed to be a 14 year old child to his residence in Arcata to perform sexual acts. Those acts included sharing graphic pornographic photos of himself, oral copulation, sexual intercourse, as well as sodomy. An arrest warrant was issued and Del Norte County Sheriff’s Investigators with help from the Arcata Police Department’s Detective Unit served the arrest and search warrant on Shenk, on 3/4/21.
Shenk was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Humboldt County jail to be transported to the Del Norte County Jail to be booked on the following charges:
311.2 PC, production, distribution of obscene matter, 313.1(a) PC, distribution and exhibition of harmful matter to a minor, 288.3 (a) PC, contact or communicate with a minor with intent to commit specified offenses, 288.4(a)(1) PC, arrangement of meeting with a minor for the purpose of engaging in lewd acts, 664/288(a) attempted lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age, 664/287, attempted oral copulation and 664/286 attempted sodomy.
Sheriff Apperson said “As disturbing as the details surrounding these arrests are, there are some very positive takeaways. With the help of World Wide Predator Hunters our team was able to investigate and arrest these predators before they victimized someone. We may never know how long they have been up to this sort of activity but this investigation puts them on our radar. I also appreciate the reputation we are building for being an unsafe place for people attempting to carry out this sort of criminal behavior. Ultimately, one of the suspects committed the crime but did not want to come to Del Norte County based on recent and similar arrests. In response, we came to him. I am proud of the effort demonstrated by our DNSO team and thankful for the agencies that assisted us. I am also grateful for the ongoing support from our Del Norte District Attorney’s Office. My hope is that these predators continue to think twice before targeting people in Del Norte. And as always, all suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. They have a right to bail, just like anyone else.”
Two arrests for attempted lewd acts with minor was last modified: March 10th, 2021 by