Hundreds arrested in child porn bust
OLD CITY - January 3, 2013 (WPVI) -- Hundreds of people have been arrested across the country as part of something called Operation Sunflower. The suspects are allegedly engaged in child sexual exploitation involving 123 victims.
15 of the suspects are from Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Operation Sunflower's mission was to identify and rescue victims of child pornography.
The worldwide operation rescued over a 120 victims in a little over a month, five from our region.
"The majority of them are being abused by someone they know, a babysitter, a loved one," Special Agent John Kellaghan of the Department of Homeland Security said.
Those people arrested from our area include:
"The majority of the folks who deal with this material are sophisticated and we need to stay one step ahead of them," Kellaghan said.
Special Agent Kellaghan says child pornography is percolating into every corner of society.
In 2010, the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children received 14 million images of child porn from their law enforcement partners.
In 2011, it was 22 million.
He warns parents need to watch their children and the people with whom they come in contact.
"It's a serious problem; it's a problem that we somehow have to get our hands around because it's not getting any better," Kellaghan said.
To report any suspicious activity you can go to www.ICE.gov or call 1-866-347-2423.
philadelphia, child porn, local/state, chad pradelli
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