Operation Broken Heart results in arrests of 19 child exploitation suspects

Shawn Allen
Shawn Allen

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana officials said a recent investigation called Operation Broken Heart led to the arrests of 19 suspected child predators.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell reported the coordinated law enforcement effort aimed at catching those who exploit children.

"June is Internet Safety Month and the top priority of our Internet Crimes Against Children task force is to make sure kids across Louisiana are safe as they suddenly find themselves with more free time and less supervision during the summer months away from school," Caldwell said in a written release.

The month-long undercover operation targeted offenders who possess child porn, produce or distribute child porn, solicit children for sexual purposes and are involved in sex tourism.

Caldwell stated most of the arrests involved possession or distribution of child pornography. However, there are charges for production of pornography involving juveniles, indecent behavior with a juvenile, computer-aided solicitation of a minor, unlawful use or access to social media, simple rape and attempted simple kidnapping.

"The results of this operation illustrate that kids don't have to venture out of their backyard any longer to encounter danger, it can find them right in their own home," Caldwell added.

He said the ultimate purpose of the effort is to keep kids safe.

He added parents should establish ground-rules for accessing the internet. Technical capabilities or lack of time may limit a parent's involvement, but web surfing can be shaped into a family activity by keeping the following tips in mind:

Place the computer in a central area of the house such as the family room, den or kitchen.

Establish specific times when access to the internet is permitted and keep that schedule.

Limit the length of access time. This will encourage your child to go directly to the information required, rather than aimlessly wander or surf the Internet.

Explain to your children that many sites on the Internet are not appropriate for children or young adults, and they are expected to stay away from them.

Make it clear to your child that you are aware that there is inappropriate material on the Internet, and that looking at such material is forbidden.

Explain that if a website's address has adult language in it, the site is not to be visited.

If the child has access to a credit card, instruct the child never to give it out over the internet.

Instruct your child to talk to you if he or she ever finds anything on the Internet that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Encourage communication with your children. Ask about their Internet experiences and what they have learned.

If you are viewing this story on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet), click the link to see the slideshow that contains the names of the 19 suspects arrested and pictures of 18 of them, as a picture was not provided of the last one - http://bit.ly/1nOQPky

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