The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has arrested a 24-year-old Carpinteria man for being in possession of hundreds of images of child pornography.

Giovanni Gonzalez

Giovanni Gonzalez

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said deputies on Tuesday arrested Giovanni Gonzalez at his Carpinteria residence in the 4900 block of Carpinteria Avenue after serving a search warrant and finding the images.

Deputies first began investigating Gonzalez late last month, when the Criminal Investigations Bureau received reports indicating that a suspect’s Internet Protocol (IP) address in Santa Barbara County was accessing images of child pornography, Hoover said.

Tracing the location based on the notifications, which were generated through the Los Angeles Area Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children CyberTipline Report, detectives found Gonzalez’s address.

After serving the search warrant Tuesday, Hoover said, the investigation revealed Gonzalez would pose as a 14-year-old girl online and use his false identity to entice victims into sending him nude photos or videos of themselves.

He then traded the images online, she said, noting Gonzalez was also found in possession of hundreds of other images and videos of child pornography that he obtained illegally over the internet.

Gonzalez was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail and is being held on $100,000 bail.

He faces charges of obscene depiction of a minor, depiction of sexual conduct of a child under 14 years of age, use of an underage person for obscene matter, possession or control of more than 600 images of child pornography and invasion of privacy with a camcorder, Hoover said.

She encouraged parents to monitor their child’s internet usage to ensure they do not fall victim to an online predator.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.