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82 Arrested in Major Child Abuse Ring Bust

171 agencies coordinate in massive child exploitation sting operation

 on 7th May 2019 @ 1.00pm
the huge child abuse ring operation saw 82 people arrested  17 children rescued © press
The huge child abuse ring operation saw 82 people arrested, 17 children rescued

A massive sting operation that targeted a child abuse and exploitation network has resulted in 82 arrests, according to reports.

US federal authorities coordinated with local police for the huge eight-state child exploitation sting operation that successfully rescued 17 children.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Operation Southern Impact III rescued or identified victims across several states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The GBI declared the operation a “great display of local, state, and federal partnerships.”

authorities rescued 17 child victims from the abuse and exploitation ring © press
Authorities rescued 17 child victims from the abuse and exploitation ring

According to WBNS, the people arrested from the four-month operation ranged from ages 20 to 70. 

Among those apprehended were a non-profit employee, daycare administrator, youth group leader, and former high school band director.

GBI Special Agent Debbie Garner leads the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and says she feels children will now be safer.

Their leads often started as cyber tips.

"Approximately 500 cyber tips a month from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children,” Garner said.

"Some of those were cases that we did search warrants and knock and talks on during this operation."

171 different agencies coordinated on the massive operation © press
171 different agencies coordinated on the massive operation

In total, law enforcement agencies arrested 31 people in Georgia, the most of any state in the sting.

Garner says they were either trading, collecting or producing child porn.

But the GBI also noted that the sting helped put an end to the molestation of hundreds of children.

Investigators have found that people who collect and deal in child porn also often perpetrate such abuse themselves and don’t merely view the material.

"There is actually a statistical correlation between those people who are collecting and viewing child pornography and those that are committing hands-on child molestation offenses,” Garner said.

A total of 171 agencies took part in the operation.

[RELATED] Jehovah's Witnesses Destroy Child Abuse Evidence to 'Escape from Satan'

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