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Largest Internet Raid in Suffolk's History

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Mar 23, 2004 9:45 AM PST    Text size: 
UNITED KINGDOM – Police in the Suffolk region of England reported one of the largest crackdowns to date on pedophiles who used the Internet to download child pornography.

According to reports, more than 30 suspects have been taken into custody after 60 people were initially targeted. The suspects' names came to the attention of child porn task force Operation Queensbury after a list was submitted by the National Crime Squad of credit card numbers that had been processed through a known child porn distribution website.

In two particular cases, arrests rendered 600 child porn videos and more than 40,000 indecent images of children.

"It was the largest operation of its kind in Suffolk," stated Det. Supt Paul Marshall, who led the inquiry. Marshall added that police now have the skills to track anyone who views child porn on the Internet, regardless of whether they enter their credit cards or not.

The crackdown required the efforts of an estimated 20 police officers, Suffolk authorities reported, and all evidence was later destroyed. The investigation and eventual arrests took authorities three months to complete.

The website, American Landslide, had previously been the subject of an FBI investigation during which subscriber identities were revealed.

The pedophiles convicted were forced to sign the sex offenders' register for a minimum of five years. Sentences and fines are still undetermined.

"Offenders are creating a market for the abusers," Marshall continued. "The only way we can stop the abuse occurring in the first place is to target all those involved along the chain."

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