Task force cracks down on online predators

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – More than 70 agencies across New Mexico teamed up in an effort to tackle online child predators.

The agencies said the month-long effort was a big success.

New Mexico’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force wrapped up ‘Operation Broken Heart.’ They served 23 warrants and made 12 arrests.

Working with the attorney general’s office, a group of agencies, including Albuquerque police and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, were able to pool their resources together to crack down on child pornography manufacturers.

They also focused on people sharing child porn and child prostitution.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force works around the clock, but the numbers from this operation double what they usually see in a month.

They couldn’t say how many people they busted on each offense.

By doing these operations – the agencies hope to send a clear message to anyone exploiting children – ‘we are watching.’

“We can target individuals who are targeting our children, go after them in a unified effort to make a difference across the state,” Kevin Abar, Homeland Security agent said.

Charges for these kinds of crimes can vary from 18 months up to five years. But those sentences could be even harsher depending on *how many images a person may have.

Operations like these are funded by grants from the Department of Justice.

New Mexico’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force also works with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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