16 Arrested in Polk County Child Pornography Undercover Operation

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On Friday, September 24, 2021, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office concluded a month-long undercover investigation to identify suspects who possess and share child pornography. The operation, called “Operation Guardians of Innocence VII,” was carried out by undercover detectives from PCSO’s Computer Crimes Unit and resulted in the arrests of 16 people.
“One of the vilest crimes is the sexual abuse of children. Those arrested in this operation not only create a market for the sexual abuse and rape of babies and children worldwide, every time these images and videos are uploaded and shared, these innocent children are victimized over and over again. As you know, this is only the beginning – once we serve search warrants and seize these suspects devices, a forensic analysis will be conducted, and we will, in all likelihood, be adding more child pornography charges. This is also an example of why it is so important for parents and guardians to ensure parental controls are enabled on all of your child’s devices.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
The youngest person arrested is15-years-old, while the oldest is 68-years-old.
Detectives served 23 search warrants, and at the time of arrest, detectives seized all known electronic communications devices belonging to the suspects, with forensic searches of those devices to follow. Those searches could turn up additional images and/or videos depicting child pornography, and the suspects will be additionally charged. Attempts are also made to identify the children in various images and videos.