The results were significant, but grim, a sad reminder to us all that online child exploitation is a very real part of our lives and demands, absolutely demands, our full attention as a nation.
Protecting the innocence of children took the national spotlight today, dubbed “Operation Sunflower”.
Agents from immigration and customs enforcement’s homeland security investigation unit arrested nearly 250 people for child exploitation from november 1st to december 7th.
Thirteen of those arrested were from Central and South Texas.
According to ICE Director John Morton, the sexual abuse of young children is all too often at the hands of people they trust.
Of the 123 victims, 44 children were directly rescued from their abusers and five were under the age of three.
The worldwide case began in 2011 when Danish police sent the U.S. images and posts from an internet chat room, those messages indicated a teenage boy was planning to rape an 11-year-old girl.
“Operation Sunflower” brought a seemingly unlikely issue to forefront immigration reform, given the status of many of the suspects and victims.
If you suspect any suspicious activity, or want to report a missing child, you can call the 24-hour toll free hotline at 866-DHS-2-ICE.
You can also call NCMEC’s toll free hotline at 800-THE-LOST.