NEW YORK – Joint operatives of various law enforcers in New York City have combined forces on Wednesday to conduct the biggest bust against sexual predators of children.
The New York Police, Homeland Security Investigations and other law enforcers, arrested in a joint operation at least 7o men and a woman involved in child pornography. This is believed to be the largest ever operation across New York City, federal officials said.
Facing charges is a woman who produced and distributed pornography involving her own young child and another one who had a previous child sex abuse conviction.
Another man apparently uses a hidden camera to film his naked stepdaughter, while the others include two nurses, a paramedic, an au pair, a Boy Scout den master who served as a little league baseball coach and two police officers.
Following the earlier arrest of the chief of the police department in Valhalla, New York in January and a priest who home-schooled children in Brooklyn in March, Operation Caireen was launched to conduct a crack down on persons involved in child porn.
The five-week-long search and operation conducted from April 4 to May 15 resulted to the confiscation of almost 600 computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and thumb drives containing tens of thousands of pornographic images and videos of children .
The investigating team said they have also trailed around 150 IP addresses actively involved in trading child porn in the wider New York City area.
“The joint law enforcement elements penetrated on the peer-to-peer file sharing networks to enable the investigators to identify the people behind the child porn activities across the New York City area, the US officials said.
Meanwhile, New York police commissioner William Bratton said the indictment showed “that abuse against children is beyond reproach and violators will be vigorously sought and brought to justice.”
“The law enforcement community is committed to eliminating the horrific market for child pornography, one defendant at a time,” said US Attorney Loretta Lynch, eastern district of New York.
On the other hand, John Ryan, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, thanked the law enforcement officials for taking the cudgels to arrest the erring sexual predators and contain the problem on sexual abuse on children.
“Their tireless work helps ensure the safety of our children,” Ryan said.
Some of the defendants were named as former police chief Brian Fanelli; Samuel Waldman, the rabbi; police officer Yong Wu; Jonathan Silber, the Boy Scout leader and Little League baseball coach; and Aaron Young, the paramedic.
James Hayes, the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations New York office, said officials has noted that more charges will be pressed against the 71 people arrested and possibly more arrests will be conducted.
Gleaned from a report on The USA Today, Hayes said: “The sheer volume of confirmed and suspected instances of individuals engaging in the sexual exploitation of children … is shocking, and the professional backgrounds of many of the defendants is troubling. We can no longer assume that the only people who would stoop to prey on children are unemployed drifters.”
“Clearly, this criminal activity has reached epidemic proportions,” Hayes said.
He said the announcement of 71 arrests should send a message to predators: “that they are going to be identified and found.”