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.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • A trying Heat season now hitting the stretch run
    A trying Heat season now hitting the stretch run

    MIAMI (AP) — To say the Miami Heat have been presented with a new problem every day since last season ended, that would be an exaggeration. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options