LOCAL LAW Officers Receive National Honors

Tuesday, May 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A couple of Tulsa law enforcement officers recently received a national honor.

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft presented the officer of the year award to a Tulsa police detective and a Tulsa postal inspector.

The award stemmed from busting Oklahoma's largest child porn ring.

When an undercover Postal Inspector in Tennessee received a videotape of child pornography from a man in Commerce, Oklahoma... no one dreamed they were about to bust up a huge child porn ring.

The investigation lasted a year and netted seven suspects... as officers learned a mother and father forced their 16-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son to have sex with strangers for years... videotaped it all and sold it.

Det Liz Eagan, Tulsa Sex Crimes: "In my 19 years, this is the most heinous crime that I have ever seen."

Detective Eagan and Inspector Rey Santiago spend untold hours working on this case, doing mounds of paperwork, watching dozens of videos, searching homes and making arrests.

Inspector Rey Santiago, US Postal Service: "Most cases now are over the internet, but, this one was done the old fashioned way, with a letter writing campaign."

Santiago and Eagan knew their case was one of five chosen from across the country to be recognized, but, had no idea, they'd receive the top honor of officer of the year.

It was a bitter sweet moment.

Det Liz Eagan: "It really took its toll on most of us who worked on it."

The detectives say the thing that keeps them going is focusing on the victims... making them safe and finding them justice.

All the suspects arrested in this case are serving lengthy prison terms except one, who committed suicide.