Almost 60 adults were arrested during an online task operation for crimes against children. They will face criminal charges related to online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, including kidnapping, assault and distribution of sexual pornography.
The North Texas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and FBI Dallas Division’s Child Exploitation Task Force announced on Feb. 17 that a month-long computer crimes investigators from agencies in North Texas took part in “Operation Janus,” an effort to identify and rescue children forced into sexual acts and arrest the abusers who were trafficking images and videos, according to a statement by the Plano Police Department.
“The FBI is committed to doing everything in our power to protect the most innocent amongst us, our children,” said FBI Dallas Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Dwyer. “We’re able to achieve this through our law enforcement partnerships at the federal, state and local level. We work together every day to identify and apprehend online predators targeting children. Operation Janus allowed us to collectively support each other by sharing resources and intelligence to catch predators in the act. It also allowed us to recover children and protect them from further harm.”
Investigators recovered terabytes of data and electronic devices that were used during the crimes. The devices are being examined forensically and may lead to other offenders and additional charges. The operation finished the investigation Friday and rescued 28 children and arrested 59 people who are now facing at least 80 criminal charges, according to NBCDFW. The investigation involved around three dozen law enforcement agencies from across North Texas and from as far away as Alaska.
“The innocence of children must be protected at all costs,” said Ed Drain, Chief of the Plano Police Department, in an official statement. “I am proud of the work we do to collectively bring to justice those who seek to harm our children through online means and for the rescue of these children from future abuse as we work to bring safety, healing, and justice to these victims and their families.”
The Plano Police released a list of names and photographs of those arrested during the operation.
Local Profile reached out to the Dallas Police Department and the Plano Police Department for comment but did not receive a response prior to publishing.