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Internet Child Porn Trade Targeted by "Operation Shattered Innocence"

Internet Child Porn Trade Targeted by "Operation Shattered Innocence"

March 10, 2009

DECATUR, GA - As a result of a 3 month investigation coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, over 40 search warrants have been executed today in Georgia in connection with the distribution of child porn over the Internet.   

Known as "Operation Shattered Innocence", this state-wide endeavor includes 17 local agencies, 3 Federal Agencies (FBI, ICE and the Secret Service), the 3 U. S. Attorneys' Offices in Georgia (Northern, Middle and Southern Districts) and the Georgia Attorney General's Office.   

Began in December of 2008, the operation centered on the ability of GBI agents assigned to the ICAC Task Force to detect specific child porn images being shared over the Internet.  In addition, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office and the Smyrna Police Department also located targets in Georgia involved in the Internet child porn trade.

The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the U. S. Department of Justice and housed within the GBI, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education. The ICAC Program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims. By helping state and local law enforcement agencies develop effective and sustainable responses to online child victimization and child pornography, the ICAC program delivers national resources at the local level.

In 2007, Governor Sonny Perdue and the Georgia General Assembly tripled the size of the GBI ICAC Unit and gave the agency authority to investigate these types of crimes. As a result, the ICAC Task Force, which includes 98 affiliated law enforcement agencies in Georgia, made 103 arrests in 2007, the most of any ICAC task force in the nation.    In 2008, the Georgia ICAC Task Force made 109 arrests.

Agencies involved in today's search warrant operation include:

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office
Cobb Police Department
Carrollton Police Department
DeKalb Police Department
Immigration and Custom Enforcement
Smyrna Police Department
Conyers Police Department
Rockdale County Sheriff's Office
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
Lowndes County Sheriff's Office
Walton County Sheriff's Office
Dougherty County Sheriff's Office
Loganville Police Department
Columbus Police Department
Waycross Police Department
Liberty County Sheriff's Office
Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department
Richmond County Sheriff's Office
Georgia Bureau of Investigation

The Georgia ICAC Task Force website is www.familyinternet.info and the GBI website is http://gbi.georgia.gov/.

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Contact Information: 
John Bankhead - 404-270-8330