A man arrested in Osceola this week was charged with creating child porn, and using his computer to store and share the pictures of children. Tim Counts with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency says anytime a crime’s committed using the Internet, it makes it a federal case — and a matter for worldwide prosecution.
The federal agency takes it seriously and he says local communities should also take pornography investigations very seriously. The Customs agency is going to prosecute, he says, “to the fullest extent of the law.” The man arrested on Wednesday is identified as 37-year-old Terence Edgington of Osceola.
The case announced by the U.S. Attorney’s office this week is apparently not related to an arrest in mid-March of an Osceola woman charged with using her computer to host a group of child-porn users. Counts calls that one a “particularly disturbing case,” and says ICE did investigate that one, too.
In the March crackdown, a ring of people were sending each other live video of child molestations over the Internet. He says “obviously, they weren’t keeping it to themselves — our agents were able to infiltrate the ring.” He says several prosecutions are underway following that crackdown.
The arrest this week was part of a federal program dubbed “Operation Predator,” which was begun in July 2003. Counts says they’ve used Operation Predator to arrest 7-thousand, 856 people nationwide for engaging in some kind of child exploitation. He says that includes 103 people in Iowa.