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35 Suspected Child Sex Offenders Arrested In Raids Across Michigan

June 13, 2018 - 2:21 pm
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DETROIT (WWJ) - Michigan State Police say 35 people have been arrested in raids across the state as part of a nationwide child sex offender sweep.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 2,300 suspected online child predators were taken into custody around the county during "Operation Broken Heart" -- a three-month effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces.

The DOJ said the task forces identified 195 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse, and 383 children who suffered recent, ongoing, or historical sexual abuse or production of child pornography.

The 61 ICAC task forces, located in all 50 states and comprised of more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, led the coordinated “Broken Heart”  operation during the months of March, April, and May of this year. During that time, the DOJ says the task forces investigated more than 25,200 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes against children and delivered more than 3,700 presentations on Internet safety to over 390,000 youth and adults.   

Speaking to WWJ's Zahra Huber on Wednesday, MSP First Lt. Mike Shaw said 35 arrests were made in Michigan as part of this sweep. At this time, Shaw said, police are not releasing details including the suspects' names, locations, or details of their alleged crimes.

For this operation, the FBI targeted suspect who: (1) produce, distribute, receive and possess child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the sex trafficking of children; and (4) travel across state lines or to foreign countries and sexually abuse children.

"No child should ever have to endure sexual abuse," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, in a media release. "And yet, in recent years, certain forms of modern technology have facilitated the spread of child pornography and created greater incentives for its production. We at the Department of Justice are determined to strike back against these repugnant crimes. It is shocking and very sad that in this one operation, we have arrested more than 2,300 alleged child predators and investigated some 25,200 sexual abuse complaints."

"Any would-be criminal should be warned: this department will remain relentless in hunting down those who victimize our children," Sessions added. 

Citizens can report suspicion of child sexual exploitation to local police, the ICAC Task Force or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline at 1-800-843-5678 or online at cybertipline.com.