A 20-year-old Centreville man was among 10 people arrested recently as a result of an online, sexual-predator sting conducted by the Northern Virginia-D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
HE IS Vikram Jeet Singh Bajwa of 5905 Spruce Run Court in Little Rocky Run. And he's been charged with using a communications system to facilitate certain offenses involving children.
The arrests were made following an 18-day, online investigative operation orchestrated by 17 specially trained investigators from the Alexandria, Arlington, D.C.-Metropolitan, Fairfax County, George Mason University, Manassas Park and Prince William County police departments.
Also participating were the Virginia State Police, Stafford County Sheriff's Office, FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Investigators assumed the online profile of a pre-adolescent teen-ager and visited common teen chat rooms.
And within that 18-day span, 36 cases were opened — one for each individual who solicited the "teen-agers" for sex and other related activities. So in addition to the 10 arrests, 26 more cases are still pending.
Conducted at the ICE Cyber Center Headquarters in Fairfax County, the operation began Oct. 31 and concluded Nov. 10, but authorities didn't release the results until last week. According to the Virginia State Police, some of the suspects traveled to prearranged locations to meet the supposed objects of their "affections" and were then apprehended. Others were taken into custody at their homes.
The task force was established in November 2004. Its goal is to tackle the rapid explosion of child exploitation, pornography and predators via the Internet. A federal grant provided the money for law-enforcement training and equipment purchases, and then 20 local, state and federal agencies partnered to create the ICAC task force.
ON NOV. 7, Special Agent Christopher J. McClure wrote an affidavit requesting a search warrant so he could confiscate Bajwa's computer. In that document, McClure — assigned to the State Police's Criminal Investigation Division — presented details of the case against him.
He identified himself as a member of the ICAC task force and wrote about a Prince William County detective, also on the task force, who reportedly encountered Bajwa while using a screen name through Yahoo Chat.
Via that name, the detective claimed to be a 14-year-old girl who lives in Woodbridge. McClure stated that, on Oct. 28, around 11:30 a.m., he observed the detective chatting online with someone with the screen name of juzblaze703.
"The subject proposed sexual acts, believing that he was in conversation with a 14-year-old girl," wrote McClure. He also alleged that Bajwa asked the "girl" if she would engage in oral sex with him.
"During the chat, I observed juzblaze703 send an invite to view his web cam," wrote McClure. He noted that he watched the detective open the cam and that he then watched Bajwa allegedly "show his penis and masturbate" on that web cam.
Afterward, the authorities contacted Yahoo and then Cox Communications to learn the subscriber information for juzblaze703. And according to McClure, it came back as belonging to someone at Bajwa's home address. From there, they were allegedly able to determine that Bajwa was the person they were after.
McClure executed the search warrant, Nov. 8, at Bajwa's home, seizing a Dell Dimension computer tower, a Kodak Easy Share camera with memory card, a USB adaptor for a web cam, a wireless router and a cable modem. Bajwa was charged on Nov. 8 and was released from the Adult Detention Center on $15,000 bond on Nov. 15. He has a Jan. 6 court date.
The public is encouraged to help law enforcement in its fight against child sexual exploitation. To provide information or report a crime, call the CyberTipline at 1-800-843-5678 or visit www.cybertipline.com.