Child Porn Sweep Nets Nearly 60 Busts
Posted by Robert T DeMarco on 06/13/05 @ 23:10:43
A task force established to fight internet crimes against
children carried out more than 50 search warrants this past week
netting a few local (in the Carolinas) arrests.
The State Bureau of Investigation has carried out more than 50 search
warrants in the past week to fight the spread of child pornography,
says Attorney General Roy Cooper.
The North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force led by
the SBI has served a total of 58 search warrants since June 6 on
suspects in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and other cities
across North Carolina.
The joint operation involved 45 law enforcement agencies across the
state and is expected to yield charges that will be prosecuted by
local district attorneys and federal prosecutors.
Already 10 of the searches have resulted in arrests of suspects with
several other cases pending forensic review of computer evidence
seized by the SBI during the searches.
"Those who trade in child pornography exploit children and seek to make
a profit off of their victims' pain," said Cooper. "Using technology
and good cooperation with local and federal law enforcement, SBI
agents have been able to bust dozens of suspects who thought they were
safe sitting behind a computer screen."
The operation began in October 2004 with SBI investigations that
culminated in a statewide sweep over the past week to fight the
growing use of file sharing programs to trade and distribute child
Investigators with the SBI Computer Crimes Unit worked with
investigators from across the country to locate Internet addresses in
North Carolina that were being used to share child pornography videos
and images via peer-to-peer networks.
One well known example of a peer-to-peer network is the Fastrack
Network over which programs like KaZaa operate and allow users to
share files with each other. Users of the peer-to-peer software have
been targeted in the past for sharing illegal copies of everything
from software to music.
Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) is a nationwide network of law
enforcement agencies and prosecutors dedicated to protecting children
from online dangers. The United States Department of Justice's Office
of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention founded ICAC and
provides funding for it. The SBI has been a member of ICAC since 2000.
To help local law enforcement track criminals who use the Internet to
exploit children, Cooper has also asked legislators to expand the SBI
Computer Crimes Unit that he helped create by adding four new field
agents. The agents would partner with the ICAC Task Force to crack
down on child pornography and online predators who cruise the Internet
in search of victims. In addition, Cooper is seeking three more
computer forensic experts to recover and analyze information from
computers submitted to the SBI Crime Lab.
The NC House on Friday indicated that it would include funding for all
seven of these new agents in its budget. A bill backed by Cooper that
will give SBI agents and local law enforcement more tools to catch
predators who pursue children online recently passed the NC House and
Senate. The Child Exploitation Prevention Act would make it a felony
for an Internet predator to solicit anyone, including an undercover
officer, he or she believes to be a child. Under current law, a
predator who solicits an officer posing as a minor could only be
charged with a misdemeanor.
The measure would also require convicted online predators to be added
to the state's Sex Offender Registry and to provide DNA samples for
the state's convicted offender database.
"Good law enforcement is essential to cracking down on criminals who
use the Internet to hurt our children, but parents also need to get
involved," said Cooper. "By using parental controls and setting
household rules for Internet use, parents can give their kids the
wonders of the Internet while shutting out its dangers."
The sweep netted several local people:
-56 Male White Burlington Alamance SW NC SBI, Burlington
Police 6/10/2005 Pending Forensic Review
- 18 Male White Winston-Salem Forsyth SW NC SBI,
Winston-Salem PD 6/8/2005 Pending Forensic Review
- 28 Male White Winston-Salem Forsyth SW NC SBI,
Winston-Salem PD 6/8/2005 Pending Forensic Review
- 25 Male White Greensboro Guilford SW NC SBI, Greensboro
PD 6/7/2005 6/7/2005 Poss Intent to Sell And Deliver Greensboro
Guilford SW NC SBI, Greensboro PD 6/7/2005 Pending Forensic Review
- 33 Male White Greensboro Guilford SW NC SBI, Greensboro
PD 6/7/2005 6/7/2005 2nd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
- 32 Male White Greensboro Guilford SW NC SBI, Greensboro
PD 6/7/2005 Pending Forensic Review
- 15 Male White Trinity Randolph SW NC SBI, Randolph Co.
Sheriff's Office 6/7/2005 Pending Forensic Review
- 31 Male White Reidsville Rockingham SW NC SBI,
Rockingham Co. Sheriff's Office 6/7/2005 Pending Forensic Review
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