ROSEVILLE—The transmission of child pornography is becoming so diverse any resident can become an unwitting pawn. It doesn't take much for a pedophile to cruise through a neighborhood with a laptop and use your Wi-Fi connection to download illegal photographs and video.
At a local mall a group of young men confirmed what some already know: as many as 20% of all teens are Sexting according to a national survey. Sexting is the practice of sending nude or semi-nude photo's via cell phone.
"We're trying to find these victims, we're trying to find the people behind these photographs," Detective James Williams says that complicates the job of agencies like the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Unit.
"When the kids are Sexting and making their own photographs, it makes it harder for us because now we're spending time hunting them down to make sure they're not being victimized," Williams said.
Sexting adds to the sheer volume of child pornography, and it slows the police work necessary to track down collectors who might also be pedophiles and sex offenders.
New technology threatens to complicate crime fighting even more. Encryption software can allow the most sophisticated child porn addict to download pictures and video and store them on your computer.
Sonia Jimenez is like most people -- she had no idea her wireless modem at home could be so vulnerable. In the past year search warrants have been served on as many as three homes in the Sacramento area victimized by wi-fi pirates.
"How can I become aware? Who's going to make me aware?" Jimenez questioned.
Detectives reluctantly admit, there's more child porn criss-crossing the internet than they can track. But it's not today they worry about; it's tomorrow and next year.
"Eventually this job is going to be tougher every day," Detective Williams said. "It's an ongoing battle between us and the predators."
It may be all the rage, but in the eyes of the law sexting is considered "Trafficking," a felony offense. Despite all the hi-tech tools available investigators tell FOX40 many of the predators they arrest keep their collections at home. As sick as it sounds, it seems these people are possessive about their child pornography collections.