Tulsa Task Force Hunts Down Child Predators
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Police Department's Cyber Crimes Unit is actively hunting child predators.
For days, undercover detectives have been watching a house near 51st and Harvard.
On Wednesday, they moved in in hopes of getting another suspected child predator off the street.
Before the sun came up Tulsa police were on the hunt, quietly moving into this neighborhood to serve a search warrant for the distribution of child porn.
"We got at least one full video of a child under 16 in a sexual act with an adult that was distributed to us from this residence," said TPD Cyber Crimes Unit Sergeant Jeremy Noland.
The goal is to catch the suspected child predator off guard, work that is dangerous and requires investigators to prepare for anything.
"If they're shooting at us when we enter we will just back out, take cover, and address any threats," said Sergeant Noland.
Thankfully, nothing like that happened on Wednesday as they confronted their suspect. Bags of evidence were pulled from this home including computer towers, cell phones, and SD cards.
"We now have to take the digital evidence back and cooperate statements we got from the residences and pending that, we will be pending charges," said Noland.
Noland said arrests for child sex crimes on the spot are rare and require a confession. This type of work takes patience and time for a department that is already stretched thin.
"We do data extraction for homicide. Robbery and sex crimes/sex crisis we have a backlog of cases have to do we triage it and fit it in where we can,” Noland said.
Stings like the one on Wednesday happen about four times a month in Tulsa and they make it clear that although they are a small team, they're mighty.
"Sooner or later they're gonna get caught whether it's by us or some other agency," Noland said.
News On 6 will stay in contact with investigators and let you know if charges are filed in this case.
This is just one aspect of the job.
Next week – News On 6 will show you how the Cyber Crimes Task Force uses social media to track child predators.