San Francisco. Tue. 13 April 2021. The FBI starts surveillance of a daycare facility in the center of the city. The special agents suspect that one of the employees shared child pornographic content in a private chat group. They suspect the man is a silent predator.
There is evidence of his involvement in the investigation conducted by the agents. They have a GPS location, a driver’s license photo and the records of chat conversations between the suspect man and an undercover officer.
It is a normal day at the daycare center. The suspect is working. He is with children.
After leaving the facility around 5 p.m.,26 years old Jace C. Wong gets arrested by the agents and then charged with child pornography possession.
The man, an employee at a daycare center in San Francisco for more than a year, is also a former Las Positas College student worker. Jennifer Aries, director of the Public Relations District Office, affirmed that Wong worked at the Las Positas College daycare from Jan. 2018 until May 2019.
Wong’s arrest has been possible thanks to a four days long investigation performed by both FBI agents and undercover officers.
According to the federal criminal complaint, on April 9, 2021, an undercover law enforcement officer joins a private chat group on Kik. The goal of the operation is to investigate the suspicious chat group and its related activities.
“Younger Love”, is the name attributed to the private chat.
It is a name that has not been randomly chosen. It is directly connected with the purpose of the group members. It is the first evidence gathered by the undercover officer revealing the nature of the private chat.
The one-way verdict expressed in the federal criminal complaint does not allow misunderstandings.
“The group was being used to share child sexual abuse material.” writes the FBI special agent Benjamin I. Burheimer.
But it is after the preliminary investigation that the undercover officer finds out new aspects of this story. New aspects demonstrating that the elements discovered are just the surface of a more deep and dark iceberg.
On 9 April 2021, a UC officer reported the sharing of a 14 seconds long video by one of the group members.
“anotransboi”, Wong’s nickname in the chat group, shares a video depicting a pubescent female. She is a child. “Approximately four to six years old,” affirmed Burnheimer. The child is in a bathroom, and she is partially naked. Her genitals are exposed.
The UC officer understands that child pornographic contents are a constant of the private chat. However, the provenance of the video is still incognito.
On 13 April 2021, four days after the beginning of the investigation, the undercover officer started a conversation with Wong.
“How do you get those vids?” asks the UC officer.
“I took them,” explains the chat user. “ Gotta be more cautious now, almost got caught last time.”
After that reply, one of the focal points of the investigation became clear to the officer: Jace Wong did not just share the child pornographic content, he is the person who actually recorded the video.
The culmination of the investigations coincides with the arrest of the man. However, it is when Burnheimer checks the daycare facility that the officers assume the last piece of evidence.
One of the bathrooms of the facility, a kid’s bathroom, presents black and white tiles. These tiles are viewable from the background of the video shared by Wong in the chat group meaning that the man actually recorded the video at the daycare center.
As of now, the court decision is still pending, and Wong’s case is still open. The press releases from Burhenimer’s office affirm that the maximum penalty is 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of $250000.
On date 13 May 2021, a month after Wong’s arrest, Burnheimer’s office affirmed that the investigations on the private chat group, “Younger Love,” are still in progress.
Alessio Cavalca is a staff writer for The Express. Follow him @AlessioCavalca.