Op protected childhood: 113 online child predators arrested

The arrests took place as part of Operation protected childhood initiated by ICE, HSI, MJSP against child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

The arrests took place as part of Operation protected childhood initiated by ICE, HSI, MJSP against child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

United States’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) collaborated with the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and the Public Security (MJSP) Secretariat to carry out a joint operation against those involved in child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

They have arrested 113 individuals allegedly involved in the online sharing of CSAM.

Operation Protected Childhood:

The Integrated Operation (SEOPI) Cyber Laboratory is the seventh phase of Operation Protected Childhood (OPC VII). The operation was launched by HIS Brazil and Brazil’s MSJP Cyber Lab in March 2015. So far, there have been 781 arrests, and dozens of children have been rescued.

Authorities made arrests across the US and South America between November 2nd to 6th. They simultaneously targeted the producers and distributors of CSAM across the Americas.

This operation was carried out across several ICE HIS local field offices. The Cyber Crimes Center (C3) of the agency and law enforcement authorities in Argentina, Brazil, Panama, and Paraguay coordinated with them.  

 According to Robert Fuentes Jr., the ICE Attaché for Brazil and Bolivia, this collaborative effort has put “dangerous criminals behind bars” and rescued innocent children.

Combating Child Exploitation:

Robert Fuentes Jr. stated that the agency looks forward to continuing the fight against this “horrific crime.” HIS officers in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Colorado, California, and Florida. They executed 13 search warrants to bust child exploitation networks and made 9 arrests in offenses related to child exploitation.

“This collaborative effort by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and its foreign law enforcement partners has put dangerous criminals behind bars and, most importantly, has led to the rescue of innocent children,” said ICE Attaché for Brazil and Bolivia, Robert Fuentes Jr.

Making Arrests

On November 6, the Cary Police Department and HSI Raleigh received a lead from C3 that a suspect posted child sexual abuse material in chat rooms on the Kik social media app. The forensic analysis helped authorities discover hundreds of such images, including naked pictures of the suspect’s children and objectionable images of minors.

Another search warrant was executed in Brownsville, Pennsylvania after Kik Inc. supplied information about suspects involved in possession and distribution of CSAM on the site.

Lynn Haven Police Department arrested a suspect in Florida’s Panama City after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In this case, the suspects used the Facebook Messenger app for the distribution of CSAM.

In Texas, Twitter tipped HSI McAllen, which led to the execution of a search warrant to look for individuals involved in the distribution of CSAM in West Hills, California, after a suspect used Twitter’s direct message option to share indecent images of children.

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