By CBS Baltimore Staff

COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — Howard County Police announced the arrests of 11 suspects in child pornography cases Friday.

Police, acting on tips sent in from national and state hotlines for crimes against children, have charged eight adults and three juveniles with possessing or distributing child porn since July 2020.

READ MORE: U.S. Marshals Service Recover 18 Missing Children, Locate Dozens More In Maryland As A Part Of 'Operation Not Forgotten'

Tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) led to more than a dozen investigations.

Since July, police have executed 23 residential search and seizure warrants and seized more than 160 digital devices.

In many cases, these suspects were charged based on evidence found during a search. Some were in possession of thousands of known and suspected child pornography images and videos.

As a result of these investigations, detectives have charged the following people:

  • Taylor Richard Allen, 28, of Linden Linthicum Lane in Clarksville, indicted on 10 counts of possession of child pornography
  • Nicholas David Gehringer, 30, of Sharp Road in Glenwood, indicted on nine counts of possession of child pornography
  • Hayk Manukyan, 21, of Durant Avenue in Laurel, indicted on three counts of distributing child pornography and four counts of possession of child pornography
  • Parker Greer Michael Matta, 19, of Boones Lane in Ellicott City, indicted on one count of possession of child pornography
  • Saige Noel Penrod, 19, of Paul Martin Drive in Elkridge, indicted on five counts of possession of child pornography
  • Anthony Joseph Ross, 31, of Bronze Bell Circle in Columbia, charged with five counts of possession of child pornography
  • Tucker Nathaniel Testoff, 20, of Elko Drive in Ellicott City, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography and sentenced to five years of probation
  • Jawad Hyder Wagan, 33, of Tamar Drive in Columbia, indicted on four counts of possession of child pornography
  • 14-year-old male of Laurel charged with one count of possession of child pornography
  • 16-year-old male of Laurel charged with one count of possession of child pornography
  • 17-year-old male of Glenelg charged with one count of possession of child pornography

“These cases are complex and require meticulous police work to identify suspects and collect evidence,” said Howard County Police Chief Lisa Myers. “I want to recognize our excellent team of detectives who have worked tirelessly to execute search warrants and have had to review thousands of disturbing images and videos to bring charges against these suspects.”

Maryland State Police reported there was a 67% increase in tips statewide regarding online sex exploitation in 2020 as compared to 2019.

“The sexual abuse of children that’s often portrayed in child pornography is one of the most unconscionable violations of trust imaginable,” said Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson. “Prosecuting the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes is one of our highest priorities and we will work in tandem with our law enforcement partners to bring these criminals to justice.”

Detectives remind parents to talk to their children about Internet safety.

Find resources here:

https://www.missingkids.org/netsmartz/resources

https://www.netsmartzkids.org

You can send tips to the NCMEC here: https://www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/cybertipline.

CBS Baltimore Staff