Child Porn Task Force Arrests 13 Suspects

Child Porn Task Force Arrests 13 Suspects
Gretchen Gallen
LONDON -- Child porn task force Operation Ore announced the arrests of 13 suspects Tuesday accused of downloading and distributing child pornography over the Internet. Those suspects are currently being questioned by police.

Operation Ore is in the midst of an ongoing investigation into people suspected of being involved in the illegal trafficking of child porn content online.

Since its launch in coordination with the FBI, Scotland Yard, and the British Government, the task force has executed 3,500 arrests over the past two years. Of the number of arrests to date, 1,300 people have been convicted, said a National Crime Squad spokesperson.

According to officials, Tuesday's sting required the manpower of one hundred police officers.

"We will continue to take action where we have intelligence that indicates that a person presents a threat to children through physical or sexual abuse," Scotland Yard's Matthew Sarti said in a press conference announcing the arrests.

Authorities would not reveal at the time of the arrests what websites the 13 suspects were caught in connection with, however the investigation stems from a list of 6,500 potential child porn distributors and downloaders that was handed over to British authorities in 2002 in connection with child porn websites. Along with those names, U.S. credit card companies provided names, address, and credit card information.

The long process of investigations is still underway and has focused on some of the worst offenders on the list. Typically those with no prior convictions have been cautioned and placed on the sex offenders registry.

In Britain, paying for child pornography over the Internet carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.