INDIANAPOLIS, IN—A nationwide operation targeting suspected online predators netted more than 2,300 arrests.
Operation Broken Heart targeted individuals suspected of internet sex crimes against children, including those who posses, distribute, or receive child pornography, those who engage in online enticement of children and those who engage in child sex trafficking. It was a collaboration of all of the country’s 61 Internet Crimes Against Children task forces. Of the more than 2,300 arrests, 40 of them came from Indiana.
“It’s very often that we will find an offender here in Indiana victimizing children throughout the United States, and conversely find an offender somewhere else victimizing children here in Indiana,” said Indiana State Police captain Chuck Cohen.
The operation was conducted from March to May. During that time investigators received more than 25,000 tips of adults victimizing children. While he acknowledges the operation’s success, Cohen says the reality is that the work of ICAC investigators is never ending. He says his team of investigators receive an average of 9-10 tips a day.
“What we’re seeing is the numbers rise. The number of offenders, and the number of children victimized year over year …We’re on track unfortunately here in 2018 to receive more than 3,000 cyber tips,” he said.
Cohen says as criminals change the technology they use to engage in internet crimes against children, so do investigators and their tools to track and arrest them. He says while the war against online predators may never end, the results of efforts like Operation Broken Heart help to send a message to predators that they can’t hide for long.
For more information on Operation Broken Heart, click here.