At least 113 child predators are arrested in five days of raids in the U.S., Panama and South America as part of operation which has rescued dozens of innocent children
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced 113 child predators have been apprehended in a multinational operation
- The arrests took place across the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama
- Agents made nine arrests in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Colorado and Florida
- Homeland Security Investigations agents made 74 arrests in Brazil and apprehended 23 individuals in Argentina
- Five arrests took place in Panama and another two were made in Paraguay
- It was the latest phase in Operation Protected Childhood, which since 2015 has led to 781 arrests and dozens of children victims rescued
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At least 113 child predators have been arrested in five days of sting operations across the United States, South America and Panama, the U.S. Customs and Immigration have announced.
The apprehensions were made with the assistance of ICE’s international counterparts from November 2 to November 6 as part of Operation Protected Childhood.
The operation targets individuals who distribute and produce child sexual abuse content throughout the Americas.
‘This collaborative effort by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and its foreign law enforcement partners has put dangerous criminals behind bars and, most importantly, has led to the rescue of innocent children,’ said ICE Attaché for Brazil and Bolivia, Robert Fuentes Jr.
From November 2 to November 6, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit arrested 113 individuals in the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Panama who were suspected of producing and distributing child pornography content
At least 196 child exploitation-related search warrants were approved for the transnational sweep, which was backed also backed by the Brazil Ministry of Justice and the Public Security Secretariat for Integrated Operation Cyber Laboratory.
Homeland Security Investigations [HSI] agents were granted 13 child exploitation-related search warrants and executed nine arrests in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Colorado and Florida.
On November 6, HSI agents in Raleigh, North Carolina, collaborated with the Cary Police Department to executed a federal arrest warrant of a male individual on charges of ‘production, transportation, and possession of child pornography.’ Investigators discovered hundreds of child pornography images, including several naked photos of the man’s children.
HSI agents from the Panama City, Florida, field office and the Lynn Haven Police Department raided a home on November 5 after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped authorities after the target of the investigation shared child pornography photos through the Facebook Messenger app.
The individual was detained for possession of child exploitative material. Two other individuals were apprehended for drug possession.
ICE reported that HSI agents in Brazil processed on 137 warrants and made 74 apprehensions. HSI Buenos Aires agents carried out 37 warrants and 23 arrests.
The field office in Panama City served seven child exploitation related search warrants and produced five arrests. Agents in Paraguay were granted two warrants and executed two arrests.
Operation Protected Childhood was initiated in 2015 HSI Brazil with the backing of Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and the Public Security Secretariat’s Cyber Lab to elevate ‘the effectiveness of online child exploitation investigations.’
The operation has led to almost 781 arrests and dozens of children victims rescued.