Officials with the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation say they arrested several people last year for internet crimes against children. Gerard Meyers, with the DCI’s Cyber-Crime Unit, says they’re still compiling the final numbers, but the arrests followed search warrants, undercover stings and other investigations.
He says most of the charges involve Child Enticement, Child Solicitation or possession, distribution or manufacturing of Child Pornography. "When we talk about on-line enticement – whether it be in a social network environment or chatroom where a predator attempts to entice a juvenile – that’s where our agents are working in an undercover capacity," explained Meyers. "We completed 47 enticement cases (in 2007)."
The agency is also taking a proactive approach. Agents conducted nearly 500 presentations in front of 36,500 people last year. Meyers says those presentations are primarily directed at teenagers. The Cyber Crime Unit has established "hubs" in Council Bluffs, Ankeny and Cedar Rapids.