US arrests 190 in international child porn crackdown

Police have arrested 190 people and rescued 18 children in a major US crackdown on child pornography, including some detained in Europe and elsewhere, judicial authorities said Friday.

Most of the arrests in Operation Orion through the month of May took place in the United States, but suspects were also picked up in Argentina, Britain, the Philippines and Spain.

"Many of the child exploitation cases under Operation Orion began with a child or teen chatting with someone he or she met online," said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton.

"Let this operation be a warning to anyone who would think they can use the Internet to exploit children: we are out there looking for you, we will find you, and you will be prosecuted," he added in a statement.

Operation Orion targeted individuals "who possessed, received, transported, distributed, advertised or produced images or videos of child pornography," the ICE statement said.

Among those arrested was a 35-year-old individual in Louisiana suspected of using the seven-year-old he babysat to make child pornography, and a 35-year-old in Oklahoma who offered money for sex to a 14-year-old victim he met on a social networking site.

In Michigan, a 54-year-old allegedly persuaded an underage boy to join him in illegal sexual conduct that he then photographed, while a 28-year-old was found to have more than 1,200 images and 109 videos of suspected child pornography on computers and media storage devices.

In Los Angeles eight men were arrested, including one who met his alleged 12-year-old victim on Facebook, and who was detained after agents from ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) section pretended to be her online.

Theodore Perez, 29, was arrested on May 1 when he arrived at a shopping mall to meet a 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook.

"In text messages and telephone conversations with undercover HSI agents who had assumed the girl's identity, Perez allegedly indicated he wanted to commit multiple lewd acts with the child," it said.

Perez was charged with enticing a minor to commit lewd acts and is being held on $100,000 bond.

No details of the arrests conducted overseas were disclosed. ICE said they included some in Argentina, Britain, the Philippines and Spain,

In a separate operation announced by prosecutors in Indiana, nine people were prosecuted following the dismantling of an international child pornography ring which also pursued suspects in Sweden, Serbia and the Netherlands.

"Defendants ... have been referred to federal prosecutors and law enforcement in other districts across the country and around the world," said US Attorney for the southern district of Indiana Joseph Hogsett.

"This operation uncovered a dangerous and depraved group of criminals who were devoted to trading sexually explicit images of children under the age of five," added Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer in a statement issued by the Department of Justice (DoJ) about Operation Bulldog.

For the Operation Orion, the ICE director said the arrests, and the timing, could be a good opportunity to warn children about the dangers of online predators.

"With the advent of summer vacation, children may have more time and access to the Internet, making this a good time to talk to them about online dangers," said Morton.

ICE is part of the Department of Homeland Security, which in the fiscal year ended September 30 initiated more than 3,000 cases into child exploitation and made 1,455 arrests.

In that same year, the HSI computer forensics program examined the equivalent of 16.5 million filing cabinets of data related to child exploitation cases.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options