WASHINGTON — More than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders were arrested during a three-month nationwide operation conducted by the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The task forces identified 195 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse, as well as 383 children who suffered recent, ongoing or historical sexual abuse or who were used in the production of child pornography, according to a DOJ statement.
The 61 ICAC task forces — located in all 50 states and comprising more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies — led the operation known as “Broken Heart” during March, April, and May.
The task forces investigated more than 25,200 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes against children and delivered more than 3,700 presentations on internet safety to over 390,000 youth and adults.
“No child should ever have to endure sexual abuse,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “And yet, in recent years, certain forms of modern technology have facilitated the spread of child pornography and created greater incentives for its production.”
The operation targeted suspects who:
- produce, distribute, receive and possess child pornography;
- engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes;
- engage in the sex trafficking of children; and
- travel across state lines or to foreign countries and sexually abuse children.
To date, the task forces have reviewed more than 775,000 complaints of child exploitation, which resulted in the arrest of more than 83,000.
In addition, since the ICAC program’s inception, more than 629,400 law enforcement officers, prosecutors and other professionals have been trained on techniques to investigate and prosecute ICAC-related cases.