Calgary… Operation ICE Storm 3 has led to the arrest of 10 child sexual exploitation suspects. ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation team made the arrests in Calgary, Medicine Hat, and Lethbridge.
Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) team initiated Operation ICE Storm 3 in November 2015 and focused on high-level targets that were sharing and distributing vast collections of child sexual exploitation photos and videos.
ICE is an integrated team that includes members of Calgary Police, Lethbridge Police, and Medicine Hat Police, and RCMP members. 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.
Over the past eight months, ICE investigators conducted 30 search warrants across Southern Alberta and seized 285 computers, mobile devices, and storage drives. Approximately half of the devices seized have been analyzed thus far, representing 40 terabytes of data, and nearly 50,000 child sexual exploitation photos and videos have been identified.
Some of the victims in the photos are estimated to be as young as 6 months and depict extreme sexual abuse.
At this point of the investigation, ICE investigators do not believe any of the victims are from Alberta, or that any hands-on offences had taken place. Anyone with information about this investigation, or any child exploitation offence is encouraged to contact police or cybertip.ca.
Operation ICE Storm 3 focused on child sexual exploitation photos and videos being traded on peer-to-peer file sharing networks. ICE prioritized suspects with the largest collections and some of the most graphic content.
A total of 10 suspects were arrested and each face charges of possession of child pornography, access child pornography, and make available child pornography.
None of the accused individuals are considered to be in positions of public trust and/or authority.
Previously, ALERT arrested 10 individuals as part of the initial Operation ICE Storm in April 2014. In September 2015, 8 suspects were arrested in the second version of the operation.
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 Alberta Sheriffs, Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.