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Man arrested in child pornography case had 'trophy room,' cops say

Law EnforcementCrime, Law and JusticeLos Angeles County Sheriff's Department

A man who was arrested on child pornography charges in Norwalk last week allegedly had a "trophy room" packed with toys, clothes and books for young girls, authorities said.

Manuel Montes, 43, was taken into custody Thursday. During the investigation leading to his arrest, authorities said they found evidence at a Bassett home that Montes possessed and possibly manufactured and distributed child pornography. Bassett is an unincorporated community in the San Gabriel Valley.

At the home, detectives found "trip wires" that sent out signals that the residence or certain rooms may have been breached.

Montes was arrested on suspicion of uploading images of child pornography to the Internet on at least two occasions, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Authorities believe there are also three female victims between the ages of 10 and 13 whom he allegedly sexually abused.

During the investigation, which began as a child exploitation case, detectives learned child pornography had been uploaded from a computer in Bellflower. Eventually, a warrant was issued.

A search of the Bellflower location led detectives to the residence in Bassett, where they served another search warrant. It was in that residence that detectives reported finding "trip wires."

As detectives arrived at the home in Bassett, they said it appeared "that an individual had hastily left the location just prior to their entry."

Montes was found about 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the Norwalk residence with the alleged "trophy room."

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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