"Operation Innocent Justice" Targets 55 People Involved in Internet Child Porn Trade

April 5, 2011

DECATUR, GA – As a result of a 5-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 40 Georgia counties in connection with the distribution of child porn over the Internet.  

Known as “Operation Innocent Justice”, this state-wide endeavor includes 27 local agencies, 5 Federal Agencies (FBI, ICE, the U. S. Secret Service, the U. S. Marshals Service and U. S. Postal Service), the 3 U. S. Attorneys’ Offices in Georgia (Northern, Middle and Southern Districts) and the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.  

The agencies participating in Operation Innocent Justice along with the GBI are as follows:

1) United States Secret Service
2) United States Postal Inspection Service
3) Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
4) Federal Bureau of Investigation
5) United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Georgia
6) United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Georgia
7) United States Attorney’s Office Middle District of Georgia
8) United States Marshals Service
9) State of Georgia Attorney General’s Office
10) Adel Police Department
11) Atlanta Police Department
12) Carrollton Police Department
13) Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
14) Cobb County Police Department
15) Columbia County Sheriff’s Office
16) DeKalb County Police Department
17) Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
18) Douglasville Police Department
19) Fayette County Sheriff’s Office
20) Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office
21) Glynn County Police Department
22) Gwinnett County Police Department
23) Henry County Police Department
24) Houston County Sheriff’s Office
25) Kingsland  Police Department
26) Lagrange Police Department
27) Liberty County Sheriff’s Office
28) Newton County Sheriff’s Office
29) Paulding County Sheriff’s Office
30) Richmond County Sheriff’s Office
31) Roswell Police Department
32) Sandy Springs Police Department
33) Smyrna Police Department
34) Villa Rica Police Department
35) Walton County Sheriff’s Office
36) Warner Robins Police Department

This operation, which began in October of 2010, centered on the ability of GBI agents assigned to the ICAC Task Force to detect specific child porn images being shared over the Internet. Fifty-five suspects (55) have been identified as distributing child porn over the Internet and are targeted for search warrants in today’s operation.  

In addition, The GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit and 15 local agencies who participate in the ICAC Task Force have made 37 arrests to date on Internet child porn charges as part of Operation Innocent Justice.  Those local agencies are the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Houston County Sheriff’s Office, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Newton County Sheriff’s Office, Carrollton Police Department, DeKalb County Police Department, LaGrange Police Department, Gwinnett County Police Department, Sandy Springs Police Department, Smyrna Police Department and the Kingsland Police Department.

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, then 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 125 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 and in 2009 made 164 arrests. In 2010, the Task Force made 162 arrests and for the first two months of this year made 51 arrests. There have been 701 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