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ICE Operation Nets 113 Arrests of Alleged Child Predators in U.S., South America

ICE authorities investigating child predators. Photo via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

ICE and its international partners arrested 113 alleged child predators in the U.S. and South America as part of a crackdown called “Operation Protected Childhood.”

The operation focused on distributors and producers of child pornography from the U.S. and Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama. In the U.S., ICE executed child exploitation-related search warrants in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Colorado and Florida. 

“This collaborative effort by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and its foreign law enforcement partners has put dangerous criminals behind bars and, most importantly, has led to the rescue of innocent children,” Robert Fuentes Jr., ICE attaché for Brazil and Bolivia, said in a statement. “Thank you to our Brazilian partners for their unwavering efforts over the last five years to combat child exploitation through Operation Protected Childhood. And to our partners who have most recently joined our operation, we look forward to the continued fight and relentless effort to put a stop to this horrific crime.”  

Launched in 2015, OPC works in partnership with the Brazil Ministry of Justice and the Public Security (MJSP) Secretariat for Integrated Operation (SEOPI) Cyber Laboratory.

During the arrests, officials found thousands of images of child pornography. Investigators tracked down the suspects using social media and cell phone apps. 


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