The Department of Justice announced Friday that more than 1,000 accused child predators have been arrested across the country as part of a sting called Operation Broken Heart IV. And so far in 2017, dozens of people accused of preying on children have been arrested in Alabama as well.
1,012 accused predators have been arrested since May as part of the nationwide sting. The Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, hosted by ALEA, also launched in April a two-month sting as part of Operation Broken Heart IV. According to a press release “Operation Broken Heart IV 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, along with Internet safety education and outreach.”
ALEA tells News 5 that 43 alleged predators have been arrested in Alabama alone this year. There were 49 arrests in all of 2016. Many of the cases involve stalking children using the internet, phones and other devices. ALEA also says that 8 children, as young as 6-years-old have rescued from those alleged child predators this year. According to the release “the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force says the 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).”
“The Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was proud to participate in this national campaign to protect one of our most precious assets–children. As of today, people that prey on children are behind bars and facing prosecution and in return less children are being victimized because of a collaborative law enforcement effort,” Acting Secretary of Law Enforcement Hal Taylor said. Operation Broken Heart IV Statistics: