56 arrests in Maryland during nationwide child sexual exploitation initiative

COLUMBIA — Maryland’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force yielded 56 arrests in Maryland — 21 of which were arrested by Maryland State Police investigators during “Operation Broken Heart,” a nationwide, three-month initiative targeting offenders of child sexual exploitation.

The Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was one of 61 task forces included in the Operation Broken Heart initiative. Members from the Maryland ICAC worked throughout March, April and May, initiating 426 investigations. Investigators executed 149 search warrants with 56 arrests. There were also public outreach sessions, which reached nearly 780 people.

The coordinated effort by law enforcement represents more than 4,500 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies with the purpose of arresting child predators, along with internet safety education and outreach. During the course of the operation, the task forces delivered more than 3,700 presentations on internet safety to over 390,000 youth and adults nationally.

The task force is comprised of police agencies statewide. They concentrated on those offenders who possess, manufacture and distribute child pornography and who engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes. They also targeted crimes including child prostitution and possible human trafficking. 

CUMBERLAND TIMES-NEWS, ctn@times-news.com

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