A Canadian man suspected of running an international child pornography network has been arrested in Mexico and charged, officials said. Arthur Lelland Sayler was charged this week with possessing images containing child pornography, according to a statement by Mexico's Public Safety Ministry.
Sayler was arrested at his home in Tijuana, Mexico, near the U.S.-Mexico border, June 21. Investigators said they confiscated from his house 15 hard drives containing four million child pornography photos and videos.
There is evidence to suspect that the materials are part of an international child pornography ring that was operating in Canada, the United States and Mexico, authorities said. Sayler is the only person arrested in this case so far.
Emma Welford, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs, confirmed to Canwest News Service Friday night that the Canadian Consulate in Tijuana was "aware" that a Canadian citizen has been detained by Mexican authorities.
"Consular officials have been in contact with the citizen and are providing consular assistance," Welford said. "Due to the Privacy Act, no further information can be released at this time."
More than 13 agents from a Mexican agency specializing in human trafficking, along with "cyber police" officers from the country's Public Safety Ministry were involved in the operation.
Mexican authorities told XETV San Diego 6 News they consider Sayler one of the most dangerous pedophiles in the world. The Canadian-born man travelled to San Diego daily, repairing computers, authorities added.
Sayler's neighbours told the television station that the man has been living in his beachfront Tijuana house for the past 20 years.
"We never believed he was doing something like that. He acted well. He walked around here and minded his own business," neighbour Filiberto Gomez told reporters. "We worry for the children around here, because there are a lot of kids around here."
Sayler will be transferred to a Mexico City high security prison. If he is convicted in Mexico, he faces life in prison.
Click to view image: 'Arthur Lelland Sayler'
|Liveleak on Facebook|