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190 Arrested In Huge Child Predator Operation

An operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has led to the arrest of 190 people accused of producing, distributing or possessing child pornography.

"Let this operation be a warning to anyone who would think they can use the Internet to exploit children: we are out there looking for you, we will find you, and you will be prosecuted," ICE director John Morton said in a statement.

ICE said Operation Orion took place during the month of May and ended up with the majority of arrests made in the United States, but the operation also netted suspects in Spain, the Philippines, Argentina and the U.K.

Reuters adds:

"ICE said that 18 minors were rescued by agents as part of the month-long intensive effort to crack down on child predators.

"Lorraine Concha, a special agent in charge in San Diego, said one case involved a child being videotaped with a hidden camera in her own home. She did not provide other details because the case was still under investigation."

ICE said its Homeland Security investigators made 1,455 during the last fiscal year.

ICE said it was publicizing its operation just in time for summer vacations, when children have more time to browse the Internet. It said it was a good "a good time to talk to them about online dangers."

Most of the cases under Operation Orion began online.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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