Harmful Matter Sent to a Minor Arrest

Case # 23-000153


In the middle part of October 2018, Chico Police School Resource Officers began the investigation into a male subject sending inappropriate and harmful matter via Snapchat to middle school-aged females. The students who ranged from ages 12 to 17 were solicited and sent sexually explicit text messages and photos to their online social media accounts.

During the course of the investigation in 2018, Kellen Culpepper (22-year-old Chico resident) was identified as a suspect in the case. Culpepper was taken into custody without incident and was later transported to the Butte County Jail where he was booked on several felony violations to include: Sending Harmful Matter to a Minor (288.2 (a)(1 PC), Communications with a Minor with the Intent to Commit a Sexual Offense (288.3(a) PC), and Attempt to Contact a Minor with the Intent to Commit a Sexual Offense).

Culpepper ultimately pled guilty to the above violations and received a 28-year suspended sentence. Culpepper was placed on probation. Culpepper had numerous probation violations since his sentence, including a failure to register as a sex offender in 2021. Due to these probation violations, Culpepper was scheduled to be re-sentenced on February 8th, 2023.

On January 9th, 2023, Officers responded to the area of W. 8th Ave and North Cherry Street regarding a report of a 26-year-old male attempting to solicit grade school females to send him naked photographs of themselves on Snapchat. The male threatened the females when she did not comply. This incident was very familiar to the Chico Police Detectives who investigated the original offense. They were aware that Culpepper lived in the area where the juveniles were asked to meet by the online predator.

Chico Police Detectives obtained identifying information from the Snapchat exchange, as well as enough probable cause to search Kellen Culpepper’s nearby residence for evidence. Detectives served a search warrant at Culpepper’s residence and obtained more evidence that identified him as the suspect soliciting the underage females.

Culpepper was arrested for Sending Harmful Matter to a Minor (288.2 (a) (2) PC, Communications with a Minor with the Intent to Commit a Sexual Offense (288.3(a) PC, and Arranging to meet a minor for the purpose of engaging in lewd or lascivious behavior (288.4 (a) (1) PC). Culpepper was later transported to Butte County Jail.

Location: 1300 block of Greenwich, Chico, Ca

Date/Time: 2/6/2023 at 1:31 PM

Supervisor: Sgt. Nick Bauer

Watch Commander: Lt. Brian Miller

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