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A tip of the hat to ECSO’s ICAC

POSTED: December 20, 2012 8:00 p.m.

There are few crimes regarded as heinous as those perpetrated against children. They are the most innocent and some of the most vulnerable members of society.


Over the last few months, the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 16 men who have either attempted to entice minors for their deviant purposes or have traded in the repulsive and despicable business of child pornography. Thanks to the ECSO’s active and pro-active Internet Crimes Against Children task force, the most recent arrest took place last week as deputies arrested a 55-year-old Port Wentworth man, who was engaging in chats and sending images to undercover officers.


The ICAC task force has made several arrests of those living outside the county, but who make contact with the deputies. The underworld of child pornography is a sordid enterprise and catching those who manufacture the images and videos is difficult. Finding those who seek its product also is no easy task, either.


But the ECSO and the ICAC network have been diligent in finding the culprits and have been painstaking in tracking them down. They’ve also worked to catch those who have attempted to entice children and minors for their own deviant purposes.


The U.S. Department of Justice created the ICAC task force program to help state and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative response to offenders who use the Internet, online communications systems or other computer technology for the sexual exploitation of children.


Currently, the program is composed of 61 regional task force agencies across the nation and is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Georgia’s ICAC Regional Task Force is supervised by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.


Earlier this year, the ECSO and the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office collaborated on the arrest of a Rincon man who had illicit images and videos of children on his computer.


“This stuff has really gotten out of hand,” Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes said at the time. “It’s gotten more and more prevalent. Thank God we have ways to catch them now.”


As Effingham Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie has said, and has had to far too often, “Protecting our children is one of the highest priorities at the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, and we will continue to pursue these cases in the future with ICAC.”


We applaud the ECSO and its brethren for finding and arresting those who make the degradation of children their pastime.

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