Utah AG’s Office: Statewide effort to combat child porn leads to multiple arrests

Photo: Utah Attorney General's Office/Facebook

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 3, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A sizeable increase in cases of child pornography and illegal sexual contact with minors within the past two years moved the Utah Attorney General’s Office to lead a statewide effort to address the problem.

The operation, known as the “Statewide Proactive Chat,” involved officers from 27 agencies working together “to identify and weed out illegal sexual contact and pornography involving minors,” according to a news release Friday.

“Since the beginning of 2020, the number of cases has exploded by 600%, and it keeps getting worse,” the AG’s Office stated.

Strategies

Officers conducted sting operations for one week, intercepting messages and underage pornography from Ogden to Cedar City, resulting in 12 arrests, eight search warrants served, and 13 pending cases.

“Statewide Proactive Chat 2022,” with 27 agencies participating, resulted in multiple arrests in cases involving child pornography in Utah. Photo: Utah Attorney General’s Office/Facebook

“Not only is there a constant rise in cases, but many of the encounters we are intercepting are also bolder and more aggressive than ever,” said ICAC Commander Alan White in the news release. “We’re also seeing younger victims — even toddlers, more often. It’s disturbing and overwhelming, to say the least.”

Agencies

The Utah Attorney General’s Office expressed appreciation to the agencies participating in “Statewide Proactive Chat” and working to keep children safe. The agencies are:

Utah Attorney General‘s Office, West Valley City Police Department, West Jordan Police Department, Weber County Sheriff’s Office, Provo Police Department, Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Box Elder County Attorney‘s Office, Orem Police Department, Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Uintah County Sheriff’s Office, AP&P (Northern Region), Farmington Police Department, Syracuse Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, AP&P (Region three), Sandy Police Department, Riverton Police Department, Bluffdale Police Department, Vernal Police Department, AP&P (Region Five), Cedar City Police Department, Enoch Police Department, Saint George Police Department, Salem Police Department, Washington City Police Department, AP&P (Region Six).

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