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Child porn sweep nets nearly 60 busts, says AG Cooper

Release date: 6/13/2005

Raleigh: The State Bureau of Investigation has carried out more than 50 search warrants in the past week to fight the spread of child pornography, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.

The North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force led by the SBI has served a total of 58 search warrants since June 6 on suspects in Wilmington, Greenville, Rocky Mount, Fayetteville, Raleigh, Cary, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Boone, Asheville and other cities across North Carolina. The operation brought together 45 law enforcement agencies across the state and is expected to yield charges that will be prosecuted by local district attorneys and federal prosecutors. Already 10 of the searches have resulted in arrests of suspects with several other cases pending forensic review of computer evidence seized by the SBI during the searches.

“Those who trade in child pornography exploit children and seek to make a profit off of their victims’ pain,” said Cooper. “Using technology and good cooperation with local and federal law enforcement, SBI agents have been able to bust dozens of suspects who thought they were safe sitting behind a computer screen.”

The operation began in October 2004 with SBI investigations that culminated in a statewide sweep over the past week to fight the growing use of file sharing programs to trade and distribute child pornography. Investigators with the SBI Computer Crimes Unit worked with investigators from across the country to locate Internet addresses in North Carolina that were being used to share child pornography videos and images via peer-to-peer networks.

One well known example of a peer-to-peer network is the Fastrack Network over which programs like KaZaa operate and allow users to share files with each other. Users of the peer-to-peer software have been targeted in the past for sharing illegal copies of everything from software to music.

Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) is a nationwide network of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors dedicated to protecting children from online dangers. The United States Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention founded ICAC and provides funding for it. The SBI has been a member of ICAC since 2000. The SBI partners with several federal and local law enforcement agencies as part of North Carolina’s ICAC Task Force including the United States Postal Inspections Service, Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (See the attached complete list of agencies participating in this latest statewide effort to crack down on people spreading child pornography.)

To help local law enforcement track criminals who use the Internet to exploit children, Cooper has also asked legislators to expand the SBI Computer Crimes Unit that he helped create by adding four new field agents. The agents would partner with the ICAC Task Force to crack down on child pornography and online predators who cruise the Internet in search of victims. In addition, Cooper is seeking three more computer forensic experts to recover and analyze information from computers submitted to the SBI Crime Lab. The N.C. House on Friday indicated that it would include funding for all seven of these new agents in its budget.

A bill backed by Cooper that will give SBI agents and local law enforcement more tools to catch predators who pursue children online recently passed the N.C. House and Senate. The Child Exploitation Prevention Act (Senate Bill 472 sponsored by Senator Scott Thomas) would make it a felony for an Internet predator to solicit anyone, including an undercover officer, he or she believes to be a child. Under current law, a predator who solicits an officer posing as a minor could only be charged with a misdemeanor. The measure would also require convicted online predators to be added to the state’s Sex Offender Registry and to provide DNA samples for the state’s convicted offender database.

“Good law enforcement is essential to cracking down on criminals who use the Internet to hurt our children, but parents also need to get involved,” said Cooper. “By using parental controls and setting household rules for Internet use, parents can give their kids the wonders of the Internet while shutting out its dangers.”

To help parents protect their children from online predators and explicit websites, Cooper recently partnered with law enforcement and child safety experts including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to develop a video and resource guide for parents. The video and tips are also available online at www.ncdoj.com (select “Internet Safety” from the Jump To menu at the top of the page).

Law Enforcement Agencies Participating in ICAC Sweep

Asheville Police Department Boone Police Department Burlington Police Department Cabarras County Sheriff's Office Cary Police Department Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Dare County Sheriff's Office Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Durham Police Department Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office Elizabethtown Police Department Fayetteville Police Department Federal Bureau of Investigation Computer Crimes Task Force Granville County Sheriff's Office Greensboro Police Department Greenville Police Department Halifax County Sheriff's Office Havelock Police Department Iredell County Sheriff's Office Jackson County Sheriff's Offfice Jacksonville Police Department Kinston Police Department Lincoln County Sheriff's Office Martin County Sheriff's Office Naval Criminal Investigative Service New Hanover County Sheriff's Office North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Onslow County Sheriff's Office Pitt County Sheriff's Office Randolph County Sheriff's Office Red Springs Police Department Robeson County Juvenile Task Force Rockingham County Sheriff's Office Rutherfordton Police Department Statesville Police Department Tarboro Police Department United State Postal Inspection Service United States Marshal's Office Wake County Sheriff's Office Wake County - City County Bureau of Identification Watauga County Sheriff's Office Wilmington Police Department Winston-Salem Police Department

ICAC Operation

SUSPECT AGE SEX RACE CITY COUNTY BASIS OF SEARCH ASSISTING AGENCIES DATE OF SEARCH DATE OF ARRREST CHARGES
56 Male White Burlington Alamance SW NC SBI, Burlington Police 6/10/2005   Pending Forensic Review
18 Male White Chockowinty Beaufort SW NC SBI 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review
17 Male White Elizabethtown Bladen SW NC SBI, Elizabethtown PD, Fayetteville PD 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review
51 Male White Asheville Buncombe SW NC SBI, Asheville PD 6/6/2005 6/10/2005 3rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
35 Male White Kannapolis Cabarrus SW NC SBI, Cabarras Co. USPIS, ICE 6/9/2005   Pending Forensic Review
18 Male White Hickory Catawba SW NC SBI, Watauga Co. Sheriff's Office, U.S. Postal Inspection 6/9/2005 6/9/2005 3rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
34 Male White Shelby Cleveland SW NC SBI, Charlotte USPIS, ICE 6/9/2005 6/9/2005 2nd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
53 Male White Fallston Cleveland US SW NC SBI, Cleveland County, USPIS 6/9/2005 6/9/2005 3rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
22 Male White Cherry Point Craven Consent NC SBI, NCIS 6/8/2005 6/8/2005 Possession Child Pornography
26 / 24 Male / Female White / White Havelock Craven SW NC SBI, Onslow Co. Sheriff's Office, Havelock PD 6/8/2005   Pending Forensic Review
20 Male White Wanchese Dare SW NC SBI, Dare Co. Sheriff's Office 6/8/2005   Pending Forensic Review
30 Male White Durham Durham SW NC SBI, USPIS, CCBI, Durham PD 6/7/2005   Pending Forensic Review
36 Male Hispanic Tarboro Edgecombe SW NC SBI, Tarboro PD 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review
18 Male White Winston-Salem Forsyth SW NC SBI, Winston-Salem PD 6/8/2005   Pending Forensic Review
28 Male White Winston-Salem Forsyth SW NC SBI, Winston-Salem PD 6/8/2005   Pending Forensic Review
55 Male White Oxford Granville Consent NC SBI, Granville County Sheriff 6/9/2005   Pending Forensic Review
25 Male White Greensboro Guilford SW NC SBI, Greensboro PD 6/7/2005 6/7/2005 Poss Intent to Sell And Deliver
      Greensboro Guilford SW NC SBI, Greensboro PD 6/7/2005   Pending Forensic Review
33 Male White Greensboro Guilford SW NC SBI, Greensboro PD 6/7/2005 6/7/2005 2rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
32 Male White Greensboro Guilford SW NC SBI, Greensboro PD 6/7/2005   Pending Forensic Review
18 Male White Roanoke Rapids Halifax Consent NC SBI, Halifax Co. Sheriff's Office 6/9/2005   No Charges Pending
34 Male Black Wilmington Hew Hanover SW NC SBI, Wilmington PD 11/16/2004   Pending Forensic Review
37 Male Hispanic Mooresville Iredell SW NC SBI, Iredale Co., Statesville Police, ICE, CMPD, USPIS 6/9/2005   Fugitive on the run
29 Male White Cullowhee Jackson SW NC SBI, Jackson Co. Sheriff's Offfice 6/8/2005 6/10/2005 3rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
35 Female White Kinston Lenoir SW NC SBI, Kinston PD 6/8/2005   No Charges
17 Male White Lincolnton Lincoln SW NC SBI, USPIS, Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office 6/8/2005   Pending Forensic Review
28 Female White Williamston Martin Consent NC SBI, Martin Co. Sheriff's Office 6/8/2005   Pending Forensic Review
17 Male White Charlotte Mecklenburg SW NC SBI, Charlotte, USPIS, ICE 6/9/2005 6/9/2005 3rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
27 Male White Charlotte Mecklenburg SW NC SBI, Charlotte, USPIS, ICE 6/9/2005 6/9/2005 3rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
29 Male White Charlotte Mecklenburg SW NC SBI, Charlotte, USPIS, ICE 6/9/2005   Pending Forensic Review
52 Male White Charlotte Mecklenburg SW NC SBI, Charlotte, USPIS, ICE 6/9/2005   Pending Forensic Review
55 Male White Rocky Mount Nash SW NC SBI, Edgecombe County 6/7/2005   Pending Forensic Review
43 Male Black Rocky Mount Nash SW NC SBI, Edgecombe Co. Sheriff's Office 6/8/2005   Pending Forensic Review
18 Male White Wilmington New Hanover SW NC SBI, US Marshals, FBI, New Hanover Sheriff's office 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review

1 ICAC Operation

34 Male White Wilmington New Hanover SW NC SBI, US Marshals, FBI, New Hanover Sheriff's office 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review
30 Male White Wilmington New Hanover SW NC SBI, US Marshals, FBI, New Hanover Sheriff's office 6/8/2005   Pending Forensic Review
61 Male White Wilmington New Hanover SW NC SBI, US Marshals, FBI, New Hanover Sheriff's office 6/8/2005   Pending Forensic Review
25 Male White Tarawa Terrace Onslow SW NC SBI, NCIS 6/9/2005   Pending Forensic Review
23 Male White Hubert Onslow SW NC SBI, Onslow Co. Sheriff's Office 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review
14 Male Black Maysville Onslow SW NC SBI, Onslow Co. Sheriff's Office 6/9/2005   Pending Forensic Review
37 Male White Jacksonville Onslow SW NC SBI, Onslow Co. Sheriff's Office, Jacksonville PD 6/7/2005   Pending Forensic Review
20 Male White Greenville Pitt SW NC SBI, Greenville PD 6/7/2005   No Charges
22 Male White Greenville Pitt SW NC SBI, Greenville PD 6/8/2005 NA No Charges
29 Male White Greenville Pitt SW NC SBI, Pitt Co. Sheriff's Office 6/7/2005   Pending Forensic Review
18 Male Black Greenville Pitt SW NC SBI 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review
15 Male White Trinity Randolph SW NC SBI, Randolph Co. Sheriff's Office 6/7/2005   Pending Forensic Review
39 Male Black Lumberton Robeson SW NC SBI, Fayetteville PD, Robeson Co. Juvenile Taskforce 6/7/2005   Pending Forensic Review
35 Male Black Red Springs Robeson SW NC SBI, Fayetteville PD, Red Springs PD 6/7/2005   Pending Forensic Review
31 Male White Reidsville Rockingham SW NC SBI, Rockingham Co. Sheriff's Office 6/7/2005   Pending Forensic Review
      Rutherfordton Rutherford SW NC SBI, Rutherfordton PD 6/9/2005   Pending Forensic Review
  Male White Rutherfordton Rutherford Consent NC SBI, Rutherfordton PD 6/9/2005   Pending Forensic Review
38 Male Black Knightdale Wake SW NC SBI, USPIS, CCBI, Wake Co. Sheriff's Office 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review
20 Male White Morrisville Wake SW NC SBI, ICE, Wake Co. Sheriff's Office 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review
18 Male White Raleigh Wake SW NC SBI, Wake County, ICE, 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review
28 Male White Cary Wake Consent NC SBI, Cary Police, USPIS, CCBI 6/6/2005   Pending Forensic Review
18 Male White Boone Watauga SW NC SBI, Watauga Co. Sheriff's Office, USPIS 6/9/2005 6/9/2005 3rd Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
22 Male White Boone Watauga SW NC SBI, Boone PD, USPIS 6/9/2005   Pending Forensic Review
39 Male White Goldsboro Wayne SW NC SBI 6/8/2005   Pending Forensic Review

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