The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday announced the arrest of almost 1,700 suspected online child sex offenders during a two-month, nationwide operation conducted by Internet Crimes Against Children task forces.
The task forces identified 308 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse, and 357 children who suffered recent, ongoing or historical sexual abuse or were exploited in the production of child pornography.
The 61 ICAC task forces, located in all 50 states and comprised of more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, led the coordinated operation known as “Broken Heart” during the months of April and May 2019.
During the course of the operation, the task forces investigated more than 18,500 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes targeting children and delivered more than 2,150 presentations on Internet safety to over 201,000 youth and adults.
“The sexual abuse of children is repugnant, and it victimizes the most innocent and vulnerable of all,” U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr said. “We must bring the full force of the law against sexual predators, and with the help of our Internet Crimes Against Children program, we will.”
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.