International Sting Identifies Over 100 Victims Of Child Pornographers

Thursday, January 3rd 2013, 9:31 pm
By: News On 6

More than 100 victims of child pornographers, including 13 from Tulsa, were rescued by federal investigators in a recent sting.

Authorities aren't releasing any details about specific cases, but say the children were all exploited by adults, who were making and trading child porn.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said 123 child victims were identified during the five-week investigation, which ended in early December. ICE and local authorities found 110 victims in U.S. states, while the others were living in six countries elsewhere.

Investigators say 13 of the victims identified were from Tulsa, all based on one suspect.

The investigation, dubbed "Operation Sunflower," was part of ICE's effort to find and rescue victims, and arrest abusers and people who make or transmit child pornography.

"We have to attack child exploitation relentlessly and together. There is no other way, there is no other answer," Morton said. "It is a wrong among wrongs. We are literally defending the defenseless."

The victims ranged in age from less than 1 to 17 years old. Morton said 44 of the victims were living with their accused abusers.

Most were teenagers, but some were under the age of three. Others are now adults, who appeared in porn as minors.

Of those rescued, 70 victims were girls and 53 were boys.

Almost 250 people were arrested the international sting.

To report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity, you can call the toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or complete an online tip form.