23 Arrested After Multi-Agency Sweep Targets Child Predators

Three local residents were caught up in a multi-agency sweep of suspected child predators. The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office was one of 29 federal and local agencies participating in the Northern California operation June 18th to July 1st. 37 warrants were served and 23 arrests were made. 31-year-old William Thomas Barron Jr of Red Bluff was charged with possession and distribution of over 600 child sexual abuse images. 40-year-old Robert Kellen Benefield of Anderson is accused of having a continuous sexual relationship with a minor, and was reportedly found sleeping with the victim when the warrant was served. Detectives say they found material showing sexual conduct between the two. 29-year-old Michael Rizwan Chaudry of Redding is accused of soliciting child pornography from another suspect.