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March 16, 2021Honolulu, HI, United StatesChild Exploitation

HSI Honolulu assists state and local police in undercover operation targeting child predators

7 arrested trying to solicit minors online for sex

HONOLULU – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted Maui Police in an undercover operation that busted several child predators over the weekend. The sting that began March 12, included officers, special agents and analysts who posed as minors on the internet and targeted those intending to meet children for sexual activity. Seven people were arrested for Violations of Electronic Enticement of a Minor, by the time the operation concluded Sunday.

“We, in cooperation with our local law enforcement partners and the community, are committed to providing the necessary resources, to get these predators off the streets,” says John F. Tobon, special agent in charge for HSI Honolulu. “Our goal is not only to prosecute the predators, but also to assist the children who are victims of online sexual abuse.”

Operation Keiki Shield 7 was led by Maui Police Department and was part of a joint effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), including resources from HSI Honolulu, the State of Hawaiʻi Department of the Attorney General, the United States Secret Service and the FBI.

“I'm hopeful that our efforts have helped to prevent even one child from falling victim to internet-facilitated exploitation,” says Tivoli Faaumu, Maui County police chief. “We will continue to conduct these types of operations in Maui County and throughout the state as we owe it to the children of our communities to do everything we can to keep them safe.”

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.