Naval Petty Officer Sean Eberle, 37, was arrested while working at Lemoore Naval Air Base on Tuesday. The Kings County District Attorney says his arrest was a culmination of a joint investigation by his office and the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
Greg Strickland, Kings County District Attorney, says "We put that as a high priority. Those types of crimes are a high priority. We seek and destroy those kinds of individuals because they're predator crimes who are victimizing young children, who are the most vulnerable."
Authorities arrested Eberle after they thought he might have child pornography on his home computer. Eberle lives off-base in an apartment complex in Lemoore. Detectives conducted a lengthy analysis of digital media belonging to him. Strickland says, "He's exploiting the pictures of these children who are vulnerable victims so, yes, it's exploitation in addition to possession of child pornography which is very dangerous because that's the next step to victimizing a young child."
Officials at Lemoore Naval Air Station say they are fully cooperating with the investigation. Eberle has worked at the base as an aviation ordnanceman since 2004. Aviation ordnancemen work on the weapons installed on naval aircrafts.
Melinda Larson from Lemoore Naval Air Station says, "Petty Officer Eberle has been in the service, he's been in the Navy for 16 years. He's earned the Global War on Terrorism Medal, he's earned a couple of good conduct medals, and a navy marine corps achievement medal."
Sean Eberle will be back in Kings County court on Friday where he's expected to enter a plea to the charges.