FBI San Diego
Special Agent Davene Butler
(858) 320-1800
January 22, 2015

FBI Arrests Child Pornography Suspect

A man being sought by the FBI on federal child pornography charges was arrested by FBI agents earlier this morning in Oceanside, California.

Bartolomeo Bavarella, age 31, was taken into custody by FBI agents after Bavarella self-surrendered at the Oceanside Police Department (OPD) Headquarters, located at 3855 Mission Avenue in Oceanside, California. Bavarella self-surrendered after an FBI agent was able to make arrangements with Bavarella to self-surrender at OPD Headquarters. OPD detained Bavarella, until FBI agents subsequently took custody of Bavarella, who was then transported to San Diego FBIHQ for processing.

On Wednesday, January 21, 2015, the FBI issued a news release seeking the public’s assistance to locate and arrest Bartolomeo Bavarella, age 31, of San Diego, California, who was wanted on federal child pornography charges. A federal arrest warrant was issued on January 13, 2015, by a U.S. Magistrate Judge, based upon an federal complaint charging, Bavarella, with violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252 (a) (2), receipt of images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

According to the complaint, in August 2014, FBI agents executed a federal search warrant at the residence of Michael William Lutts, located on Tierra Baja Way, San Diego, California. While at Lutts’ residence, FBI agents located child pornography produced by Lutts, showing Lutts molesting a 2-month-old child at his residence. Also located were text messages from Lutts to others that included the child pornography images he created of the child.

Further review of an iPhone seized from the residence revealed messages between Lutts and the cell phone of Bartolomeo Bavarella. The messages included direction to Lutts’ residence as well as plans to kidnap a female child.

Additional investigation by FBI agents that included serving a court authorized search warrant for Bavarella’s e-mail account revealed six child pornography images from an individual in August 2013. The individual who sent these images to Bavarella was arrested by FBI agents in 2014 on child pornography charges. During the process of receiving these images, Bavarella allegedly encouraged the sender to continue to send the illegal images and did not show any objection to the material he was receiving.

Bavarella has been booked into the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Metropolitan Correctional Center, San Diego, California, where he will remain pending his initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge on or about Thursday, January 22, 2015.

An arrest/complaint itself is not evidence that the defendant committed crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.