Internet child porn trade targeted by Operation Restore Hope - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Internet child porn trade targeted by Operation Restore Hope

Press Release 

DECATUR, GA – As a result of a 3-month investigation coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, search warrants are being executed today in 34 Georgia counties in connection with the distribution of child porn over the Internet.  

Known as "Operation Restore Hope", this state-wide endeavor includes 24 local agencies, 4 Federal Agencies (FBI, ICE, the Secret Service and U. S. Postal Service), the 3 U. S. Attorneys' Offices in Georgia (Northern, Middle and Southern Districts) and the Georgia Attorney General's Office.  

Began in October of 2009, the operation centered on the ability of GBI agents assigned to the ICAC Task Force to detect specific child porn images being shared over the Internet.

 In addition, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, Houston County Sheriff's Office, Liberty County Sheriff's Office, Paulding County Sheriff's Office, Cobb County Police Department, DeKalb County Police Department, LaGrange Police Department, Port Wentworth Police Department, Smyrna Police Department and the Warner Robins Police Department also located targets in Georgia involved in the Internet child porn trade.


The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the U. S. Department of Justice and housed within the GBI, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases.

This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education. The ICAC Program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.

By helping state and local law enforcement agencies develop effective and sustainable responses to online child victimization and child pornography, the ICAC program delivers national resources at the local level.

In 2007, Governor Sonny Perdue and the Georgia General Assembly tripled the size of the GBI ICAC Unit and gave the agency authority to investigate these types of crimes. As a result, the ICAC Task Force, which includes 107 affiliated law enforcement agencies in Georgia, made 103 arrests in 2007, the most of any ICAC task force in the nation.  

In 2008, the Georgia ICAC Task Force made 109 arrests and through November of 2009 has made 149 arrests.

The agencies participating in Operation Restore Hope along with the GBI are as follows:

1) United States Secret Service
2) United States Postal Inspection Service
3) Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement
4) Federal Bureau of Investigation
5) United States Attorney's Office Northern District of Georgia
6) United States Attorney's Office Southern District of Georgia
7) United States Attorney's Office Middle District of Georgia
8) State of Georgia Attorney General's Office
9) Bartow County Sheriff's Office
10) Butts County Sheriff's Office
11) Charlton County Sheriff's Office
12) Port Wentworth Police Department
13) Cherokee County Sheriff's Office
14) Clayton County Police Department
15) Cobb County Police Department
16) Columbia County Sheriff's Office
17) DeKalb County Police Department
18) DeKalb County District Attorney's Office
19) Smyrna Police Department
20) Dougherty County Police Department
21) Liberty County Sheriff's Office
22) Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
23) Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office
24) Hall County Sheriff's Office
25) Houston County Sheriff's Office
26) Warner Robins Police Department
27) Lowndes County Sheriff's Office
28) Columbus Police Department
29) Douglas County Sheriff's Office
30) Paulding County Sheriff's Office
31) Richmond County Sheriff's Office
32) Lagrange Police Department

Source: Georgia Bureau of Investigation

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