1,000+ Suspected Child Sex Predators Arrested During Operation Broken Heart

June 27, 2017

WASHNGTON—Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces arrested 1,012 suspected child predators from more than 40 states during a two-month nationwide operation following the investigation of more than 69,000 cases, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) announced today.

The arrests marked the end of Operation Broken Heart, a coordinated investigative operation to intensify efforts to identify and arrest suspected child sexual predators during April and May 2017.  The 61 ICAC Task Forces, funded through OJJDP grants, comprise more than 4,500 federal, state and local, and tribal law enforcement agencies that participated in the operation.

“As technology and social media evolve, predators are quick to figure out how they can use these new tools to reach—and exploit—our children,” said OJJDP Acting Administrator Eileen M. Garry. “Our greatest strength on this ever -changing battlefield is the partnerships we have with federal, state, and local agencies. Our combined efforts across jurisdictional, state, and even national boundaries make both the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force program and Operation Broken Heart effective.”

The operation targeted suspects who: (1) possess, manufacture and distribute child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the commercial sexual exploitation or prostitution of children; and (4) engage in child sex tourism—traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing children in other countries. ICAC Task Forces first conducted Operation Broken Heart in 2014.

The task forces also delivered 1,245 presentations on Internet safety to more than 99,000 youth and adults during these two months.  In 1998, OJJDP launched the ICAC Task Force Program to help federal, state and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communication systems or computer technology to exploit children. To date, ICAC Task Forces have reviewed 705,963 complaints of child exploitation, which resulted in the
arrest of 75,688 individuals.  In addition, since the ICAC program’s inception, 585,604 law enforcement officers, prosecutors and other professionals have been trained on techniques to investigate and prosecute ICAC-related cases.

For more information, visit the ICAC Task Force webpage.

The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Hanson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART).

More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov

Source:  Justice Department Press Release June 26, 2017

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