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Sheriff's office assists in GBI bust

Deputies serve three warrants in operation

POSTED: April 11, 2013 7:02 p.m.
 

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office conducted three search warrants Wednesday as part of a statewide investigation into child pornography distribution online.

Operation Guarding Innocence was coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

According to the GBI, the effort included 47 federal, state and local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.

Statewide, 98 suspects have been identified as distributing child porn over the Internet in 37 counties, according to the GBI.

As of Thursday afternoon, the local sheriff’s office had not made any arrests as a result of the three search warrants, said spokeswoman Courtney Spriggs.

“Items seized will have to be analyzed forensically and then we’ll have more information,” Spriggs said.

The operation ran from January through March as the agencies worked to detect specific child pornography images being shared online, according to a news release from the GBI.

“The mission of the ICAC Task Force program, created by the U. S. Department of Justice and housed within the GBI, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography case,” the release states.

The task force has made 972 arrests in Georgia since the program was established in 2002.

“The program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims,” according to the release.

“By helping state and local law enforcement agencies develop effective and sustainable responses to online child victimization and child pornography, the ICAC program delivers national resources at the local level.”

 

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