The Internet has made child exploitation a crime that knows no borders. That's why the Virtual Global Taskforce was formed. The taskforce is an alliance of international law enforcement agencies — with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) serving as the only American member — and private sector partners. Together, these partners target and arrest individuals who try to exploit children.
The taskforce recently supported Operation Gondola, a global effort to take down child predators. Just this week, a Falls Church, Va., teacher was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for producing videos of himself engaging in sexual conduct with two female minors. He had more than 75,000 pornographic images and 1,000 videos of children in his possession. Earlier this month, Australian police officers arrested a 44-year-old man for possessing nearly 50,000 child abuse images.
Information in both cases resulted from an investigation spearheaded by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Italian law enforcement officials. Italian authorities identified a website that contained nearly 500 pornographic images of children. ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents quickly stepped in and seized the website. The agency then provided leads to law enforcement partners across the globe about individuals accessing those images.
Those leads led to extraordinary results. To date, law enforcement partners have made 32 criminal arrests, 22 indictments, six convictions and 207 seizures in countries across the globe.