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Calgary… A three-month investigation by ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation team has led to the arrest of 16 Alberta men for child pornography related offences.
The investigation, dubbed Operation Icebreaker, began in April 2017 and targeted suspects accessing child pornography in southern Alberta. In addition to the arrests, the investigation led to the identification of two underage luring victims.
All of the suspects are men and 11 of them hail from Calgary. None of the cases are linked other than the similar nature of the offences being committed.
Operation Icebreaker resulted in 25 search warrants executed between April 5 and June 1. More than 500 computers and electronic devices seized and forensic analysts are in the process of reviewing the large volume of data seized. To date nearly 7,000 photos and videos containing child pornography have been identified with some of the victims are as young as infants.
Operation Icebreaker was an initiative of the ICE team based in Calgary, which is an integrated unit comprised of officers from Calgary Police, Lethbridge Police, Medicine Hat Police, and RCMP. ICE investigates offences involving child pornography, any computer-related child sexual abuse, child luring over the Internet, voyeurism involving victims under the age of 18, and child sex trade/tourism.
Operation Icebreaker by the numbers:
The 16 people accused are facing a total of 56 child pornography related charges:
More charges and more arrests are possible following the completion of the forensic examination.
Operation Icebreaker utilized information from a variety of agencies and partners during the course of the investigation, including RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, Cybertip, Kingston Ontario Police, Bartlett Tennessee Police, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, numerous RCMP detachments, and various social media providers. Anyone with information about these investigations, or any child exploitation offence is encouraged to contact local police or cybertip.ca.
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.