A 19-year-old man was arrested in Unanderra on Tuesday after a police investigation into online child exploitation.
In November 2018, detectives from the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad’s Child Exploitation Internet Unit launched an investigation following a referral from Queensland Police’s Task Force Argos.
Strike Force Trawler detectives began engaging online with a man from the Illawarra.
Police will allege in court that the man believed he was speaking with a 14-year-old girl and engaged in conversations about sexual acts he wished to perform on the child and sent sexually explicit images and video.
The man also made arrangements to meet with the child for sex.
The man was arrested by strike force detectives at a business in Unanderra around 10.30am on Tuesday.
During a search of the man and a search warrant at a home in Thirroul, investigators seized a mobile phone, a computer tablet, and a number of electronic storage devices, which will undergo forensic analysis.
The man was charged with using a carriage service to groom a person under 16 years of age for sexual activity, using a carriage service for sexual activity with person under 16 years of age, use carriage service for solicit child pornography, use carriage service to transmit indecent material to person under 16 years of age, and possess child abuse material.
He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Wollongong Local Court on February 5.
Strike Force Trawler is an ongoing investigation by the CEIU into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children facilitated through the internet and related telecommunications devices.
Anyone with information about internet predators should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.