Statewide child porn crackdown under way

Richmond County authorities say they've issued six search warrants for child pornography this week, but any arrests could be weeks or months away.

 

Authorities are currently doing a forensic examination of the 11 computer and multiple SD and external hard drives seized in Operation Innocent Justice, according to Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Mark Dobbins.

The operation is part of a 5-month investigation by 27 local law enforcement agencies in 40 Georgia counties. Five federal agencies are also involved.

Dobbins said arrests could take some time in some counties where agencies were working to sort through numerous digital items including flash drives, laptops and cell phones confiscated from the homes and businesses where search warrants were issued.

"It is excessively detailed," Dobbins said. "It's a complicated formula and it takes a while to go into a computer and go through every image that's in there, as well as going into unallocated space, or what commoners call deleted space."

Authorities will then make the determination of whether there is enough probable cause or evidence to issue an arrest warrant. So far 63 arrests have been made as a result of the 117 search warrants issued across the state.

"Child pornography has increased exponentially" due to the digital age, Dobbins said.

In the 1970s, a producer of child porn had to have a black room to produce images to eliminate the third party, whereas now photos can be uploaded instantly by anyone.

The goal of the operation was to cut down on the supply and demand effect caused by the suspects who are searching for and downloading the pornography.

"Once they search for child pornography, the suppliers see that there is still a huge demand for it so they consistently do it," Dobbins said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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