Attorney General Martha Coakley and State Police Internet Crimes Task Force Announce Charges Against Seven Individuals in Connection with Cyber Crime Sweep Targeting Users of Child Porn
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Today's announcement is the result of a multi- agency investigation and collaborative effort among the Attorney General's Cyber Crime Division, the Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, and several of the Commonwealth's law enforcement councils: the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council (METROLEC), the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC), and the Cape Cod Regional Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC).
"The child pornography industry exploits and abuses children," said AG Coakley. "Those who purchase, sell, or participate in this illegal trade should know that Massachusetts law enforcement authorities are working together at all levels to investigate and prosecute these acts and to protect our children. The partnerships with State Police and with law enforcement across our Commonwealth allow us to integrate the resources and personnel necessary to apprehend these individuals."
Said Colonel Marian J. McGovern, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police: "The State Police are proud of our role coordinating the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and grateful for our partners in the Office of the Attorney General. The protection of children is a core mission of the Massachusetts State Police, and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is committed to protecting children through aggressive enforcement of laws prohibiting the possession, distribution and manufacture of child pornography. Sometimes the public thinks that shocking crimes occur 'somewhere else,' not in their town. But it is important to realize that child pornographers practice their evil trade in communities of all sorts, large and small, near and far, and their despicable reach extends throughout the global cyber community. Child pornography is the same thing as child sexual abuse, and we are committed to eradicating it and bringing those who perpetrate it to justice."
Beginning in early July 2010, authorities began an investigation into the sharing of child pornography files over the Internet by numerous individuals throughout the Commonwealth. Over the course of the past four days, authorities executed numerous search warrants at locations around the state and arrested and charged seven individuals in connection with allegedly possessing and or distributing child pornography over the Internet. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges against other individuals will be forthcoming in the immediate future. Authorities discovered thousands of images of child pornography and also seized a large quantity of computer equipment and digital media, which will all undergo a thorough forensic examination by forensic investigators in Attorney General Coakley's Computer Forensics Lab. Forensic investigators will use the latest technology to extract vital digital evidence such as videos and pictures from the seized computer equipment and digital media.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General assigned to AG Coakley's Criminal Bureau. The investigation was conducted by attorneys in AG Coakley's Cyber Crime Division, and investigators from AG Coakley's Computer Forensics Lab, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office, Massachusetts State Police ICAC Task Force, with assistance provided by METROLEC, the NEMLEC, the CCLEC, and local police in the communities in which these arrests were made.