A nine-year veteran of the Long Beach Police Department has been arrested on suspicion of felony possession of child pornography after reportedly meeting a teenager while on patrol and soliciting explicit photographs of the youth through electronic messages, police said.
Noe Yanez, 40, was taken into custody Thursday evening by Long Beach police after an investigation that began earlier this month. The alleged victim had told a school resources officer about the messages and authorities were alerted. Detectives served several search warrants in the investigation of Yanez's home and other establishments for records of the communications.
Yanez first came into contact with the minor during the course of his work as a patrolman, police said. He initially contacted the teen through text messages and subsequently solicited inappropriate photographs of the victim, according to the department. Yanez was suspended without pay Thursday pending the resolution of the criminal and administrative investigation.
Sources familiar with the investigation said detectives have not ruled out the possibility of other victims. Department investigators have obtained computer data and phone records seeking to verify the extent of the activity, the sources said.
"Not only are the actions of this officer a violation of the law, they are a violation of the community's trust and a violation of the principles of this department," Police Chief Jim McDonnell said. "The men and women of this department take great pride in the good work they do every day with the community, and we will not allow the actions of this one officer to compromise that relationship." McDonnell said the investigation is ongoing, but authorities i believed an arrest was warranted at this time.
The accusation comes one year after another Long Beach officer was booked after his wife found him having sex with a minor. That detective, Erik Alvarez of Upland, subsequently resigned and was convicted of having a sexual relationship with the girl since she was 15. He received a two-year sentence in state prison.
Yanez was being held on $20,000 bail Thursday at the Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail. Long Beach detectives are planning to present the case to the county district attorney's Justice System Integrity Division, which specializes in prosecuting law enforcement officials and lawyers. Long Beach police declined Friday to release a photo of the officer or give more details about the victim.
Long Beach police are asking anyone with information regarding Yanez's activities to contact the department's Sex Crimes Detail Tip Line at (562) 570-7878.