The Department of Justice has just conducted a series of raids across Los Angeles and arrested 238 people in connection with a Hollywood pedophilia network.
According to police, the arrests included some entertainers, community leaders, white-collar professionals, a monk, and other high-ranking clergy members.
The raids were conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes against Children task force, working directly with the Justice Department.
Codenamed “Operation Broken Heart III”, the sweeping raids targeted offenders wanted for the sexual exploitation of children, child prostitution, sex tourism and possessing and distributing child pornography, said Deputy Chief Matt Blake of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police stated that they are unable to release any names at this point, but confirmed that the arrested included some “household names” in the entertainment industry.
Operation Broken Heart III is said to be part of a much larger operation that connects to national Elite pedophile rings and may extend worldwide.
Among those arrested was an Australian politician who was attempting to “purchase” a 6-year-old boy.
Los Angeles Times reported:
A monk from Riverside and an Australian man looking to buy a 6-year-old boy were among 238 people arrested during a two-month operation targeting child predators in Southern California, officials said Monday.
Conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes against Children task force, “Operation Broken Heart III” targeted offenders wanted for the sexual exploitation of children, child prostitution, sex tourism and possessing and distributing child pornography, said Deputy Chief Matt Blake of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Among those arrested during sweeps in April and May were entertainers, community leaders, white-collar professionals and clergy members, said John Reynolds, acting special agent in charge for U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations.
“The incidence of child sexual exploitation has reached staggering proportions,” he said at a news conference.
Law enforcement officials said the arrests underscore the importance of families maintaining an open dialogue about Internet safety.
“Parents and kids need to have frank conversations about how to stay safe in cyberspace,” Reynolds said.
Children and teens, he said, are spending more time on the Internet and social media sites, where child predators often look for victims.
The Los Angeles task force is one of 61 programs nationwide funded through the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Created in 2014, Operation Broken Heart gives law enforcement agencies and task forces an opportunity to combine resources and investigative tools to identify child sexual predators.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit serves about 300 warrants each year in pursuit of child pornography suspects. In a high-rise building in Long Beach, 11 officers review an average of 350 child pornography cases a month.
Investigators use forensic equipment inside a mobile crime lab named “The Beast” to scan through hard drives for any illicit images.
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