19 Utah arrests made for internet crimes against children
Aug 22, 2023, 3:17 PM | Updated: Aug 23, 2023, 4:50 pm
(Utah ICAC Task Force)
SALT LAKE CITY — A statewide undercover operation, Operation Digital Siege, was conducted by the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The results identified 19 offenders who are now behind bars.
The siege took place on August 16th and 19th of 2023. Officials said the purpose of the effort was to identify, locate and arrest offenders who use the internet to entice, exploit and traffic children.
Seventeen local, state, and federal government agencies participated across Northern and Southern Utah — including the Utah Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations.
Over 70 total task force agents participated in the four-day operation. They posed on the internet undercover to engage with suspects. Specifically, officials highlighted suspects who showed signs of a sexual desire to meet with children.
For the offenders who distributed and possessed child sexual abuse material, warrants were issued and their homes were searched.
The 19 offenders face multiple types of sexual charges.
On Wednesday, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes said he was pleased with the results even though it shows there is plenty of work to be done.
“Sting operations like Operation Digital Siege are bittersweet. On one hand, I am elated we are prosecuting suspected predators, pornographers, and pedophiles. Eighteen alleged perpetrators are off the street and off the internet. But cases like these also remind me how pervasive these dangers are in our state,” Reyes said in a written statement.