Tue., January 12, 2010 1:05pm (EST)

Child Porn Crackdown Sweeps State
By Edgar Treiguts
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
A major GBI-led operation is targeting child pornography across the state Tuesday. (photo- Ian Britton, freefoto.com)
A major GBI-led operation is targeting child pornography across the state Tuesday. (photo- Ian Britton, freefoto.com)
Law enforcement officials on the federal, state and local levels launched a sweep of Georgia today targeting child pornography over the Internet. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says search warrants are being executed in 34 counties.

GBI Director Vernon Keenan says by 1 p.m., 33 arrests had been made, with 213 computers seized.

Keenan says with nearly 90 warrants, this is the largest sweep of its kind in the nation.

"Georgia’s task force is one of the most active in the nation. Last year, the task force made the largest number of arrests of any task force in the United States.”

Keenan says the large number of arrests only means Georgia is more vigilant in its enforcement against internet child porn - not that the state necessarily has a problem worse than others.

Known as "Operation Restore Hope", today's sweep combines agents from four federal agencies, deputies and officers from 24 local agencies, and GBI agents.

The operation is a result of a three-month investigation coordinated by the GBI and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The federal justice-created ICAC is run through the GBI, and assists state and local agencies in response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases.

State lawmakers tripled the size of the task force in 2007. A GBI press release says that year a total of 103 arrests were made -- most of any ICAC task force in the nation.