FOX40 knocked on Albert Lee Mitchell’s door Friday, a 65-year-old man who was arrested in November as part of Operation Sunflower, a federal sweep to battle child pornography.
The Sacramento resident is among nearly 250 arrested nationwide as part of the operation.
Someone answered the door and said he would go ask Mitchell to talk to us, but no one came back outside. The U.S. Attorney’s Office told FOX40 that a federal warrant uncovered that Mitchell had 40,000 images of child pornography on his computer, and was planning to travel to Argentina with children’s toys and clothing in his suitcase right before he was arrested back in November.
“These are generally images of kids who are prepubescent, if not younger,” Assistant U.S Attorney Kyle Reardon told FOX40.
Soon after Mitchell was arrested, he was released on $50,000 bail, along with another local man in Citrus Heights, Robert Roberson, who was also arrested as part of Operation Sunflower, and released on bail.
“In every case the individuals released are given a no contact order,” said Reardon. Meaning, they are not allowed to have contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Next door to Mitchell’s home, we met a family with two kids under the age of 8. Across the street, more children, and just a block away, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. Since Mitchell has no criminal record and has never been convicted, he is not in any sex offender registry and therefore released on bail as he awaits court dates.
Reardon also told FOX40 that many of those arrested have ankle monitors and internet restrictions. Still, many families around the country are living among many of the perpetrators, who have been released on bail, as they await their court dates.