More than 100 persons across the country have been indicted on child-pornography charges as a result of two continuing sting operations by the U.S. Customs Service and the U.S. Postal Service, Attorney General Edwin Meese III said yesterday.

Federal agents involved in the operations said that searches produced evidence not only of child pornography, but also that many suspects were involved in sexually molesting children, often their own.

Meese, who announced initial results of the operations at a news conference, said child pornography is an especially high-priority crime because it is created by "the abuse, rape and molestation of real children captured on film for the enjoyment . . . of the molesters."

Meese said that unlike some forms of adult pornography, child pornography is not protected by the Constitution. "Child pornography can never be consented to by the children victimized by it nor condoned by society . . . . Child pornography is not something on which reasonable people can disagree . . . . We must contain it and ultimately we must eliminate it."

John Sullivan, who supervised "Operation Borderline" as head of the Customs Service Child Pornography and Protection Unit, said his agency is pursuing 160 active cases and that indictments are expected in most of them.

Chicago-based Customs Agent Jack O'Malley described a Cleveland case in which a man's three children -- ages 11, 3 and 2 -- were found locked in an attic. "We found evidence the guy was molesting all of them," he said.

In another case, O'Malley said, evidence of satanic rituals was found.

Chief Postal Inspector Charles R. Clausen, who supervised "Project Looking Glass," said many illegal weapons were found during more than 180 searches conducted by the Postal Service in 38 states.

In a California case, four machine guns with silencers were seized. Hypodermic needles, lethal chemicals and instructions for injecting them into humans also were found, Clausen said.

In an Ohio case, postal officials said, agents found "indescribable filth, about 30 vicious dogs and a fully grown black bear."

In both the postal and Customs stings, materials were sent to individuals whose names appeared on at least two different customer lists seized in previous child-pornography investigations. "This was not an attempt to attract someone who did not have any real interest in this stuff," Meese said.

Starting early this year, postal inspectors used a fictitious offshore mail-order firm, Far Eastern Trading Co. Ltd., to send catalogues describing pornographic films and magazines.

The Customs Service sting, in place for more than a year, used a fake Canadian company and led to 130 searches in 23 states. Customs agents mailed a brochure offering such popular child-pornography magazines as "Incest," "Nymph Love," and "Children Love." In both investigations, ages of the children involved in the pornography were specified.

After a targeted individual placed an order, a "controlled delivery" was made in which agents watched to make sure the intended recipient collected the materials, which were government-copied editions of magazines seized in earlier raids.

Meese said "doctors, lawyers, schoolteachers, people in almost every type of profession" were among those arrested. The suspects, who may also face state prosecution, are being charged under a 1984 federal law making it illegal to possess child pornography. Penalty for a first offense is up to $100,000 in fines and 10 years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova said yesterday that three District of Columbia men were indicted in connection with the pornography investigation. They were Day M. Walters, 57, of 5222 Nebraska Ave. NW; Thomas M. Morrison, 69, of 1839 Primrose Rd. NW; and Henry Edgar Johnson, 59, of 800 Florida Ave. NE.

{The Associated Press reported that five Maryland men were indicted. They were Rocco C. DeRosa, 40, of Baltimore; Kenneth J. Keller, 39, of Arbutus; Leland E. Youngblood, 52, of Ellicott City; Brian J. Olmstead, 37, of Grasonville, and William A. Simmons, 69, of Denton.}

Postal officials said indictments were also returned in Virginia, but names of those suspects were not immediately available.