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      Child exploitation investigation leads to four arrests

      Pam Yaccarino, courtesy SBPD.

      SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) - A five month long investigation by Surfside Beach Police into illegal sexual acts with minors, the production of illegal pornographic material, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor ended Saturday with the arrests of four suspects. Police Chief Mike Frederick said at least one runaway juvenile is now in the care of the SC Department of Juvenile Justice and two other juveniles are in emergency protective custody with the SC Department of Social Services.

      Tim Yaccarino, 58, is charged with 1st Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Lewd Act Upon a Child, Conspiracy to Commit Lewd Act Upon a Child, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, and Harboring a Runaway. His bond is set at $222,000.

      Pam Yaccarino, 42, is charged with 1st Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Lewd Act Upon a Child, and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

      Jessica Grounds, 22, is charged with 1st Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. She's out on $5,000 bond.

      Amber Martin, 21, is charged with 1st Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Lewd Act Upon a Child, and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. She's out on $5,000 bond.

      Police say evidence found on computer equipment and digital storage media led to the arrests.

      Chief Frederick described the investigation as "complex and emotionally draining for everyone involved." Those arrested could face additional charges and more suspects could be arrested.

      "We're still sifting through numerous interviews and investigative notes," Frederick added. "We'll also spend next week coordinating with outside agencies and the US Secret Service in an effort to ensure that we're being as thorough as a case of this import would dictate."

      According to Frederick, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the 1st Degree is a felony which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.