(WAFB) - Sixty-three people from across Louisiana have been arrested on child exploitation charges as part of Operation Broken Heart, the Attorney General’s Office announced Monday, June 24.
The two-month long operation identified, arrested, and prosecuted people who allegedly produced, distributed, received, and/or possessed child pornography, engaged in the online enticement of children for sexual purposes, engaged in sex trafficking of children, or traveled across state lines or other countries in order to sexually abuse children.
The arrests were all made between April 1 and May 31.
“Sexual exploitation of kids is gut-wrenching and involves unspeakable things that would shock the conscience of everyone. Operation Broken Heart sends a powerful message to predators across the country - law enforcement will find you and we will protect Louisiana’s children,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry.
Federal, state, and local agencies say they’ve seen an increase in predators lurking online, targeting children as young as 3 years old. Officials say the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received 18 million tips in 2018.
Corey Bourgeois, commander of Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) of Louisiana says 1,944 of those tips came to Louisiana and 67% of those were from Facebook. Additionally, agents are regularly working undercover sting operations.
Attorney General Landry says, “One of the most dangerous things we can put in child’s hands is a phone.”
Experts say the way to keep your children safe is by monitoring their phone usage and double checking the websites they visit.
“Although computers, phones, and gaming devices can keep us connected to our family and friends, these same devices, if left un-monitored, can allow unwanted persons to deceive our children into doing things they shouldn’t be doing,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge of New Orleans Eric Rommal.
ICAC is a national group made up of more than 4,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
“The efforts and results of this operation are real and long-lasting. Whether it is the FBI, the Attorney General’s Office, or many of our partners - we will continue to help those who cannot protect themselves,” said Rommal.
To keep up with the demand, Louisiana State Police added a K-9 to the Special Victims Unit team in April. Maggie can sniff out tiny devices criminals might try to hide during a search.
Those arrested as part of Operation Broken Heart are as follows:
- Jeremy Clinton Richard of Newark, Ohio (DOB: 3/16/1979) – 1 count distribution, 65 counts possession
- Chandler Johnson of Ball, La. (DOB: 9/14/2000) – 40 counts possession
- Nery Wilfredo Lopez Alvarado, of Baton Rouge, La. (DOB: 3/3/1985) – 1 count distribution
- James Cody Naquin of Houma, La. (DOB: 1/19/1998) – 4 counts possession
- Zachary J. Dusang of Covington, La. (DOB: 4/28/1991) – 3 counts possession
- Josiah Z. Chambers of Shreveport, La. (DOB: 8/5/1999) – 500 counts possession
- Scott Charles Gaskill of Covington, La. (DOB: 11/24/1970) – 6 counts possession
- Joseph Powell Boatman of Covington, La. (DOB: 6/3/1993) – fugitive from Texas for online solicitation of a minor
- Daniel Joseph Looper (DOB: 7/15/1951) – 100 counts possession
- Adrian Danos of Lafayette, La. (DOB: 11/30/1999) – 53 counts possession
- Miguel Angel Fiallos Martinez of Harvey, La. (DOB: 1/5/1975) – 300 counts possession
- Brian Pool of Dequincy, La. (DOB: 10/23/1977) – 96 counts possession, 2 counts obstruction of justice
- Mark Williamson of Sulphur, La. (DOB: 12/4/1952) – 8 counts possession
- Jonathan Arthur Moyer of Denham Springs, La. (DOB: 7/6/1977) – 10 counts distribution
- Ezra Paul West of Baton Rouge, La. (DOB: 5/10/1997) – 220 counts possession
- Daniel F. Hardy II of Broussard, La. (DOB: 4/22/1985) – 500 counts possession
- Isiah Blanchard of New Iberia, La. (DOB: 10/10/1997) – indecent behavior with juvenile, computer aided solicitation of a minor
- Byron Curtis Smith of Baton Rouge, La. (DOB: 1/21/1984) – 100 counts possession
- Christopher Chambers of Lacombe, La. (DOB: 7/14/1978) – 9 counts possession
- Brian David Lbemoine of Livonia, La. (DOB: 4/14/1981) – 500 counts distribution
- Paul Thompson of Shreveport, La. (DOB: 12/14/1971) – 10 counts possession
- David Wayne Oneal of Vinton, La. (DOB: 11/30/1988) – 19 counts possession
- Derek Naquin of Bayou Blue, La. (DOB: 6/30/2000) – 47 counts possession
- Duane David Reicks of Baton Rouge, La. (DOB: 11/28/1977) – 2 counts possession
- Jennings “Jay” Bernard III of Houma, La. (DOB: 6/13/1978) – 5 counts possession
- Michael Ryan Heape of Sulphur, La. (DOB: 09/15/1999) – 25 counts possession
- Terry Scott Cepowski of Moss Bluff, La. (DOB: 9/2/1960) – 5 counts possession
- Christopher Istre of Mermantau, La. (DOB: 3/20/1982) – 6 counts possession
- Caleb Hickman of Dequincy, La. (DOB: 3/20/1995) – 50 counts possession
- Jack Vincent Jameson of Deridder, La. (DOB: 12/11/1988) – 170 counts possession
- Travis Shane Ryan of Lake Charles, La. (DOB: 8/8/1975) – 5 counts possession, indecent behavior with juveniles, computer aided solicitation of a minor
- Jessie Comeaux of Kaplan, La. (DOB: 7/4/1982) – 5 counts possession
- Jared Tyler Olivier of Lafayette, La. (DOB: 12/22/1995) – 25 counts possession
- Kenny Ray Leday of Lafayette, La. (DOB: 12/29/1981) – 5 counts possession
- Bonnie Magnon of Crowley, La. (DOB: 12/15/1967) – 10 counts possession, 3 counts distribution
- Roy Mouton of Lafayette, La. (DOB: 5/17/1977) – 3 counts distribution
- Chad Edward Lassalle of Plaucheville, La. (DOB: 9/23/1974) – 3 counts possession
- Mark Evans of Pineville, La. (DOB: 10/2/1960) – 3 counts possession
- Jimmy Lee Jackson of Pinevilla, La. (DOB: 9/17/1978) – 6 counts possession
- Roy Lee Mclean of Dry Prong, La. (DOB: 10/24/1966) – 1 count possession
- Patrick J. Manuel of Mamou, La. (DOB: 5/23/1977) – 6 counts possession
- Johnny Schalk of Pineville, La. (DOB: 6/21/1966) – 50 counts possession, 2 counts sexual abuse of an animal
- Jalen Anthony Walker (DOB: 4/8/1992) – 2 counts felony carnal knowledge of juvenile, indecent behavior with juvenile, computer aided solicitation of a minor
Click here for more details on the arrests.