||| wsbtv |||
A crackdown operation against child pornography and sexual exploitation of children yielded a total of 76 arrests including 34 people from Georgia .
The operation was led by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and was coordinated by nine Internet Crimes Against Children task forces in eight states. Called Operation Southern Impact II, the operation zeroed in on people downloading, recording and sharing of images of infants and toddlers after a two-month investigation.
The GBI said six of those arrested in Georgia traveled for the purpose of meeting and having sex with a minor. GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said a lot of those arrested have a past history with child pornography. Some were even registered sex offenders.
The ages of those arrested ranged from 17 to 72. They also held different jobs from postal worker, non-profit employee, small business owner, store clerk, mechanic, daycare administrator, pastor, construction worker and magician.
The operation had 136 search warrants executed and 100 knock and talks were carried out in eight states. 736 digital devices were previewed and 1,255 digital devices were seized. 235 of those were mobile phones.
Many of those arrests in Georgia involved the possession and or distribution of child pornography. The investigators also targeted those seeking out and distributing the most violent child pornography involving infants and toddlers.
There was one arrest that involved “sextortion”, an alarming trend where subjects obtain sexually explicit photos of minors and then threaten or blackmail the victim for additional obscene images or videos.
Miles also said such criminal act will “not be tolerated, and it will definitely not be tolerated in the state of Georgia.”
GBI says this one was a very crucial operation, something they worked hard for. Miles said: “An operation like this, we really just want to send a loud, booming message that it won’t be tolerated. Truthfully, we could do operations like this every single day if we wanted.”