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“Operation Guarding Innocence” Targets 98 People Involved in Internet Child Porn Trade; Largest Operation of its Kind in Georgia

“Operation Guarding Innocence” Targets 98 People Involved in Internet Child Porn Trade; Largest Operation of its Kind in Georgia

April 10, 2013

Update on Operation as of April 11:

159 devices previewed on-site

187 hard drives/smart phones seized

27 other devices seized (thumb drives, CDs, digital cameras, etc.)

47 arrested on 87 counts related to possession of child porn

78 searches completed as the operation continues

 

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,  search warrants are being executed today in 37 Georgia Counties in connection with the distribution of child porn over the Internet.   This is the largest operations of its kind in Georgia conducted by the State’s ICAC Task Force.

Known as “Operation Guarding Innocence”, this state-wide endeavor includes 50 teams representing 47 Federal, State and Local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.  

The agencies participating in Operation Guarding Innocence are as follows:

  1. Georgia Bureau Of Investigation
  2. U.S. Postal Inspection Service
  3. U.S. Secret Service
  4. Homeland Security Investigations
  5. Federal Bureau Of Investigation
  6. U.S. Marshal Service
  7. Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms And Explosives
  8. United States Attorney’s Office Northern District Of Georgia
  9. United States Attorney’s Office Southern District Of Georgia
  10. United States Attorney’s Office Middle District Of Georgia
  11. Houston County Sheriff’s Office
  12. Gwinnett County Police Department
  13. Atlanta Police Department
  14. Cobb County Police Department
  15. Newton County Sheriff’s Office
  16. DeKalb County Police Department
  17. Henry County Police Department
  18. Walton County Sheriff’s Office
  19. Paulding County Sheriff’s Office
  20. Kingsland Police Department
  21. Sandy Springs Police Department
  22. Liberty County Sheriff’s Office
  23. Clayton County Police Department
  24. Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
  25. Richmond County Sheriff’s Office
  26. Columbia County Sheriff’s Office
  27. St. Mary’s Police Department
  28. Camden County Sheriff’s Office
  29. Loganville Police Department
  30. Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office
  31. Effingham County Sheriff’s Office
  32. Army CID
  33. Athens-Clarke Police Department
  34. Coweta County Sheriff’s Office
  35. Union City Police Department
  36. Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office
  37. Savannah – Metro Police Department
  38. Roswell Police Department
  39. Watkinsville Police Department
  40. Powder Springs Police Department
  41. Lamar County Sheriff’s Office
  42. Warner Robins Police Department
  43. Columbus Police Department
  44. Bartow County Sheriff’s Office
  45. Marietta Police Department
  46. Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office
  47. Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office

This operation, which ran from January through March, centered on the ability of GBI agents and local affiliates that are members of the Georgia ICAC Task Force to detect specific child porn images being shared over the Internet. Ninety-eight (98) suspects have been identified as distributing child porn over the Internet and are targeted for search warrants in today’s operation.  

The mission of the ICAC Task Force Program, 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 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.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect. The ICAC Task Force Program is an important partnership that focuses its efforts to protect children on-line and hold offenders accountable.  The ICAC Task Force investigators are committed to working tirelessly to strengthen police relationships and promoting awareness and participation in order to produce positive results that help make the Internet a safer place for America’s children.

In 2008, the Georgia ICAC Task Force made 109 arrests and in 2009 made 164 arrests. In 2010, the Task Force made 162 arrests and in 2011,  made 173 arrests. There were a total of 163 arrests made in 2012. There have been 974 arrests in Georgia by the ICAC Task Force since it was established in 2002.

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