'Operation Predator App' leads to man's arrest in MI - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports


'Operation Predator App' leads to man's arrest in MI

(Source: DHS/ICE) (Source: DHS/ICE)

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations launched a new app that lets you help find fugitives and child predators, and officials say its already led to at least one arrest.

The Department of Homeland Security said less than 36 hours after rolling out the new Operation Predator app, one of the profiled fugitives was apprehended in Michigan.

Mark Robert Austin was arrested Friday afternoon without incident by federal agents along with officers from the Michigan State Police in the Flint area. After the app was announced, authorities got several tips telling them areas where Austin frequented.

Austin was charged with allegedly downloading more than 100 images and nearly a dozen videos of child pornography.

Operation Predator is a nationwide program that helps to protect children from sexual predators including those who travel overseas, internet child pornographers, illegal criminal sex offenders and child sex traffickers. The Operation Predator App is another tool used by ICE and HSI to help protect young victims and bring the accused to justice.

The app highlights wanted fugitives. There are photos and information about known fugitives in HSI criminal cases involving sexually abused and exploited children.

Operation Predator App allows users to share information with friends via email or social media sources and provide information to HSI by calling or submitting an online tip. There will also be updates on arrests and prosecution of child predators. 

The app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store or iTunes. ICE is planning on expanding the compatibility of the app to other smartphones in the near future.

ICE's Office of Public Affairs worked with special agents from HSI's Cyber Crimes Center to develop the app.

If you have any information about wanted fugitives profiled by Operation Predator you are asked to call the ICE tip line at (866) 347-2423 in the U.S. or Canada, which is staffed 24 hours a day, or (802) 872-6199 from anywhere in the world, or submit a tip online at http://www.ice.gov/tips.

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