(Columbia, MD) Maryland’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force participated in “Operation Broken Heart,” a nationwide, two month push targeting child sexual exploitation offenders.
The Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) was one of 61 task forces included in the two month initiative, “Operation Broken Heart II.” This coordinated effort by law enforcement representing more than 3,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies with the purpose of arresting as many child predators as possible, along with internet safety education and outreach. Members from the Maryland ICAC worked tirelessly during the months of April and May in support of this initiative. Their efforts resulted in a total of 949 investigations initiated. Investigators executed 136 search warrants with 86 arrests. There were also six public outreach sessions which reached over 9,500 people. Investigators educated over 2,600 individuals during 45 educational programs.
The Maryland ICAC Task Force, comprised of police agencies from around the state, concentrated on those offenders who possess, manufacture, and distribute child pornography; engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; child prostitution, and those traveling abroad to sexually abuse foreign children. The Task Force’s primary mission continues to be to protect children from computer-facilitated sexual exploitation. This goal is achieved by cooperation between law enforcement agencies and prosecutors as they combine resources to combat these crimes. Additionally, the Task Force provides community awareness campaigns helping to prevent the spread of these crimes through education.