More than 50 people have been arrested in the state of Texas in a cross-border operation related to online child sex crime.
Officers of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force posed as minor children online for the sting, called Operation & Broken Heart & # 39 ;.
The abuses are said to have occurred for several months in the provinces of Montgomery, Fort Bend and Harris near Houston. Civil servants were among the arrested.
Operation Broken Heart led to the arrest of 51 people involved in online recruitment, sex trafficking of minors and child pornography, police in Texas say
Law enforcement officials in the United States arrested nearly 1,700 suspected child predators in April and May, the Justice Department said
The authorities have revealed some details about how the stab operation took place, as well as information about some of the individual cases.
Officers said the majority of arrests concerned adults taking care of children online, or undercover officers posing as children.
& # 39; This is not just something that is downgraded to your neighbor or a city away, & # 39; said Houston Police Lazant Luis Menendez-Sierra, who works closely with ICAC. & # 39; Parents must be vigilant. & # 39;
Christopher Lakner, left, would have told investigators that he wanted to keep girls in cages, forced them to become pregnant, and then sell the baby's. Travis Shane Ryan, right, was arrested on charges of pornography with young people
& # 39; A suspect traveled all the way from California here to Houston, where he met his victim and sexually abused her, & # 39; Sgt. Luis Menedez-Sierra told ABC news. & # 39; This is not a local crime, this is not something that only has to do with your neighbor, or a village away. This is a national problem. & # 39;
In one case with Christopher Lakner, 26, Constable Alan Rosen said he tried to convince chats undercover staff that he thought a teenage girl would help kidnap children from area parks, raise them to make babies.
Lakner allegedly told investigators that he wanted to keep girls in cages, forced them to become pregnant, and then sell the babies.
Lackner was arrested at the point where he would have arranged for a meeting with what was in fact a secret officer. He was arrested in April and is still in custody.
& # 39; But more importantly, the comments made by Constable Rosen far exceeded what is appropriate for a law enforcement officer to say publicly & # 39 ;, Brian Roberts, Lackner's lawyer, told ABC News.
& # 39; The statement he has made is not public information and therefore he is not obliged to disclose it. More importantly, those statements are a violation of my client's constitutional and civil rights. They can deprive him of his right to a fair trial. & # 39;
Operation Broken Heart & # 39; is the code name for a nationwide operation to address sexual abuse of children.
The operation focuses on child pornography suspects, taking care of children online, engaging in sexual trafficking, or traveling abroad to assault children, the Justice Department said.
Officials said they had investigated more than 18,500 complaints about crimes against children, leading to 2300 arrests across the country
61 Internet criminals against child forces, established in all 50 states and composed of more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, led the coordinated operation in April and May this year.
Officials said they had investigated more than 18,500 complaints about crimes against children, leading to 2300 arrests throughout the country.
More than 2,150 presentations on internet security were given to more than 200,000 young people and adults.
& # 39; The sexual abuse of children is repulsive, and the victim of the most innocent and vulnerable of them all, & # 39; said Attorney General William Barr.
& # 39; We must bring the full force of the law against sexual predators and with the help of our Internet Crimes Against Children program we will, said Attorney General William Barr
& # 39; We must bring the full force of the law against sexual predators and we will do so with the help of our Internet Crimes Against Children program.
& # 39; Over the course of just two months, our ICAC task forces have investigated more than 18,000 complaints about internet-related abuse and arrested 1,700 alleged abusers. We are determined to bring the suspects to justice in these cases and to protect every American child. & # 39;
Nearly one million complaints have been investigated since the ICAC program started, leading to the arrest of 95,500 people.
In addition, more than 708,500 law enforcement officers, prosecutors and other professionals have been trained in techniques used to investigate and prosecute ICAC-related cases.
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