(COLUMBIA, MD) – Maryland’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force yields 58 arrests in Maryland, 16 of the cases were handled by Maryland State Police investigators, while participating in “Operation Broken Heart,” a nationwide, two-month initiative targeting offenders of child sexual exploitation.
The Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) was one of 61 task forces included in “Operation Broken Heart,” a two-month initiative. Members from the Maryland ICAC worked tirelessly throughout April and May, initiating 320 investigations. Investigators executed 110 search warrants with 58 arrests. There were also public outreach sessions, which reached nearly 1,300 people.
The coordinated effort by law enforcement represents more than 4,500 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies with the purpose of arresting child predators, along with internet safety education and outreach. During the course of the operation, the task forces delivered more than 2,150 presentations on Internet safety to over 201,000 youth and adults nationally.
The Maryland ICAC Task Force is comprised of police agencies statewide. They concentrated on those offenders who possess, manufacture, and distribute child pornography and who engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes. They also targeted crimes including child prostitution and possible human trafficking.
The Task Force’s primary mission continues to be to protect children from computer-facilitated sexual exploitation. This goal is achieved by cooperation between law enforcement agencies and prosecutors as they combine resources to combat these crimes. Additionally, the Task Force also provides community awareness campaigns helping to prevent the spread of these crimes through education.
The Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit coordinates the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. This investigation was funded in part by grant funding provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) as a part of the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network (MCIN), and a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. GOCCP provides grant funding and strategic support to MCIN partners to identify, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations through inter-agency collaboration and data sharing to make Maryland safer.
The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention funded this project under subaward number, ICAC-2019-0017.