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Police Warn of Online Sex Predators After Massive Sting Operation Results in 275 Arrests

Investigation focused on child porn traders, sex offenders and sex tourists, among others.

file photo
file photo
By Brian Slupski

In an investigation that highlights some of the dangers children face online, California arrested more than 275 alleged child sex predators following a monthlong investigation.

Police officials said the results of the investigation should be a wake up call to parents everywhere about the threats the Internet can pose to young children.

"Allowing your child to go on the Internet or social media unsupervised is like letting them walk down a dark alley in the middle of the night in a bad part of town," NBC Los Angeles quoted Claude Arnold, a special agent at the Department of Homeland Security.

The Washington Post reported that "Operation Broken Heart" involved dozens of local, state and federal policing agencies. The investigation focused on sex offenders, child sex traffickers, pimps, child porn traders and sex tourists who were traveling abroad.

“Parents are naive,” the Los Angeles Times quoted Lt. Andrea Grossman of the LAPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. “Unfortunately kids know technology better than we do and know where to hide. Fortunately, our team knows where to hide, too.”

Grossman noted that in 2008 the task force had 500 cyber tips and that had increased to more than 3,700 cyber tips last year.

NBC Los Angeles reported that members of the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes Against Children task force pretended to be 12 to 14-year-old children. In some instances meetings were arranged and when people showed up to have sex with the children they thought they were talking to online, they were arrested.

The Washington Post reported that among those arrested were:

  • A teacher's assistant accused of going to meet two children for sex.
  • A retired Los Angeles County Sheriff deputy accused of distributing child porn.
  • A U.S. Army soldier on leave who communicated with undercover officers posing as young girls and then showed up for sex.
  • A former substitute teacher who allegedly posted an ad seeking sex with a father and a son.
Officials involved in Operation Broken Heart said that nationwide one in 25 children between the ages of 10 and 17 have received an online solicitation, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“We can’t arrest our way out of the problem,” The Times quote Arnold. “Parents and children need to have frank conversations about how to stay safe in cyberspace.”
Pamela McCarthy June 28, 2014 at 12:50 PM
Al Sanchez, you are an apologist for evil perverts that ruin children's lives. There is no way the stings set up can do more than put a small dent in the overall magnitude of the problem. Not surprisingly, a handful *pun intended* of wankers agreed with your comment.
George Murphy June 28, 2014 at 08:53 PM
As long as we have liberal politicians, liberal lawyers, liberal judges and liberal scum, these problems will NEVER be resolved. There, I said it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SomervilleGirl June 29, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Hey Ken, How about men that commit adultery get the same treatment?
SomervilleGirl June 29, 2014 at 09:30 AM
The major problem with sex trafficking and kidnapping, rapes of young children and teenagers is the inability to go after the insulated organizations and corruption which allow it. Same goes for illegal gambling, casinos, drug trade, illegal sales of weapons and fraud. They are a host to the cesspool of filth that allow this to go on. Arresting the perpetrators of crime does very little to combat the large scale problem. The internet has become an easy way to exploit innocent people for profits. Educate your children to the hidden dangers and get law enforcement to hold meetings for parents and presentations during school hours.
Frank Esposito July 02, 2014 at 06:39 PM
After 275 arrest you would think they would tell you the coast is clear. LOL

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