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The ICE Cyber Crimes Center's Child Exploitation Section (CES) investigates large-scale producers and distributors of images of child abuse as well as individuals who travel in foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in sex with minors. The CES employs the latest technology to collect evidence and track the activities of individuals and organized groups who sexually exploit children through the use of websites, chat rooms, newsgroups and peer-to-peer trading. The CES also conducts clandestine operations throughout the world to identify and apprehend violators. The CES assists the field offices and routinely coordinates major investigations. The CES works closely with law enforcement agencies from around the world because the exploitation of children is a matter of global importance.
- Operation Falcon — A joint international images of child abuse investigation initiated by ICE that identified 39 websites distributing child pornography. Further investigation led to the arrest of 1,200 international downloaders and more than 300 U.S. customers. Nine individuals from the United States and Belarus were identified and charged as the principals in this investigation. All principals were convicted on various charges related to money laundering, structuring and the production and distribution of images of child abuse.
- Operation Mango — An extensive investigation that closed down an American-owned beachside resort in Acapulco, Mexico, which offered children to sexual predators. The resort was a haven for pedophiles that traveled to the facility for the sole purpose of engaging in sex with minors. The proprietor of the business was convicted. As a result of this investigation and others, the government of Mexico recently created a Federal task force to address crimes against children in its country.
- Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice Programs' ICAC Task Force comprises 45 task forces. The task forces were created in cooperation with the DOJ ICAC to provide reporting, a means to provide a virtual pointer system for child exploitation and images of child abuse cases and secure collaboration for various Federal, State, and Local law enforcement organizations, task forces, and affiliated groups around the world. DHS/ICE strongly supports the efforts of the ICAC task forces as demonstrated by ICE special agents being active members of the ICACs throughout the United States. The Northern Virginia/Metro DC ICAC is housed at the DHS/ICE C3.
Joint operations Edit
Major initiatives include the following:
- Operation Predator — ICE’s flagship investigative initiative for targeting sexual predators, child pornographers and child sex;
- The National Child Victim Identification System — which was developed to assist law enforcement agencies in identifying victims of child sexual exploitation; and
- The Virtual Global Taskforce — an international alliance of law enforcement agencies working together to fight online child exploitation and abuse.
In addition, ICE has joined in partnership with other agencies, foreign law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations (such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children). These partnerships have enabled C3 to successfully investigate leads and assist in identifying violators and associates all over the world.