State of New Mexico Office of Attorney General

06/19/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2017 13:35

AG Balderas Announces Results of National Effort to Lock Up Child Predators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Matt Baca June 19, 2017 (505) 270-7148

Attorney General Balderas Announces Results of National Effort to Lock Up Child Predators

Operation Broken Heart IV was a months-long coordinated statewide law enforcement sweep

Albuquerque, NM - This afternoon, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces around the country, including the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General ICAC Task Force, launched a two month operation in April called Operation Broken Heart IV. The operation was a coordinated effort by law enforcement representing more than 3,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies with the purpose of arresting as many child predators as possible and providing as much cyber safety education and outreach as possible to children, parents and educators throughout New Mexico.

"The Office of the Attorney General and our 86 law enforcement ICAC task force members around New Mexico have no higher priority than protecting our state's most innocent and vulnerable citizens - our children," said Attorney General Balderas. "I want to thank law enforcement agencies from San Juan to Lea Counties, from Albuquerque to Alamogordo, from Santa Fe to Silver City, for their participation in this successful operation to protect our children from dangerous predators."

During Operation Broken Heart IV, The New Mexico ICAC task force served 110 search warrants, arrested 37 alleged predators, identified 19 child victims, and rescued three more children from further abuse during a two- month-long National push to lock up child predators. The initiative also included reaching 8,138 persons in Internet safety education and outreach events in New Mexico.

The New Mexico ICAC Task Force's operation concentrated on offenders who: (1) possess, manufacture, and distribute child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (commonly referred to as child prostitution), and (4) engage in child sex tourism (traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing foreign children).

All participating ICAC task forces in the United States will compile arrest statistics from the two-month-long Operation Broken Heart III and share them with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in Washington, D.C.

Attorney General Balderas is committed to protecting children from cyber predators through his ICAC Unit and the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, which is a multi-agency network of law enforcement personnel statewide whose mission is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers. The Office of the Attorney General ICAC Unit has a fully equipped computer lab specifically designed to provide forensic analysis to law enforcement agencies working ICAC cases and special criminal investigations serving all of New Mexico's 33 counties.

To report suspected child exploitation please contact the Office of the Attorney General toll free at 1-866-627- 3249 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)

or www.missingkids.com.

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