COVINGTON — Search warrants were served across the state Tuesday in a coordinated effort by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and other law enforcement agencies to round up those involved in the child porn trade.
The Newton County Sheriff's Office has served at least one warrant as part of their participation in Operation Innocent Justice.
James Ruben Park, 39, of 10114 Allen Drive, S.W. was arrested during the sweep and charged with one count of possession of child porn as a result of an undercover Internet operation, according to NCSO spokesman Lt. Keith Crum. Further details on the arrest were not available and Crum said more arrests may follow.
Operation Innocent Justice investigations have been ongoing for five months and includes 27 local agencies, the FBI, ICE, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Postal Service and three U.S. Attorneys' Offices.
"This operation, which began in October of 2010, centered on the ability of GBI agents assigned to the ICAC Task Force to detect specific child porn images being shared over the Internet. Fifty-five suspects have been identified as distributing child porn over the Internet and are targeted for search warrants (during the) operation," said GBI Public Information Officer John Bankhead, adding that as of Tuesday 37 arrests had been made.
Bankhead went on to say that the ICAC Task Force was created by the U.S. Department of Justice and is housed within GBI headquarters. Its mission is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases.
Bankhead said the support included forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education.
"The ICAC 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," Bankhead said.
There have been 701 arrests in Georgia by the ICAC Task Force since it was established in 2002.