Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus Brown speaks at ICE headquarters in DC. Next to him on the right is ICE Director John Morton.
Law enforcement in Maryland took part in their own crackdown on child sex predators while federal authorities were conducting an operation last month that netted more than 250 arrests around the world.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement led Operation Predator, which started at the end of May and lasted until the end of June led to the arrests of 255 people. During the same time, police in Maryland took part in their own crackdown, and state police superintendent Colonel Marcus Brown says they were just as busy as their federal colleagues.
"The identification of 26 new criminal cases. This included 10 relating to child pornography and four involving the sexual exploitation of minors. In an undercover operation, a 53-year-old male was arrested after showing up and hoping to have sex with a 13-year-old girl he 'met' online," says Brown.
Five Marylanders were arrested in the ICE operation, and six victims were identified in the state. That was the second highest number of victims in one state—only Texas had more. ICE director John Morton says they found a new trend during their investigation—it's called 'sextortion.'
"Sextortion occurs when child abusers prowl social media sites for children, typically teenagers, who can be coerced or tricked into sending the abusers pornographic images of themselves."
The ICE operation uncovered no victims in Virginia or D.C., and just one person was arrested in those areas.