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Child porn sweep hits province

Four Alberta men, including one from Edmonton, are facing charges afterthe largest child porn bust in Canadian history was executed nationallythis week

Four Alberta men, including one from Edmonton, are facing charges after the largest child porn bust in Canadian history was executed nationally this week

In what was dubbed Project Salvo, child protection units seized over 130 computers from 77 identified offenders in the country. Nearly 100 charges have been laid against 57 people.

Four computers were seized from a home in St. Albert in a bust earlier this week. Three additional searches were conducted in the Calgary area.

In addition to one Edmonton man, others in Blairmore, Medicine Hat and Calgary currently face charges. Local ICE (Integrated Child Exploitation) Unit officers assisted in the arrest of a man in the Northwest Territories, whose name is being withheld.

Investigators are sifting through “significant volumes of data” on hard drives containing illegal images — a task becoming tougher for police as technology evolves — as charges are being determined in Alberta.

“Investigations are becoming complex, and also not just dealing with pictures, but real victims whose images are on these computers, being sexually abused,” said Staff Sgt. Howard Kunce.

Zebra Child Protection officials work with local child victims, and say children are often exploited through their home computers.

“A child will share images with someone they think they can trust, and it goes into a huge international domain,” CEO Barb Spencer said. “They don’t understand it will be on the Internet forever, and may come back to haunt them when they’re 40 or 50.”

No local victims have been identified, as investigations are in preliminary stages. Kunce said he’s seen more than 1.5 million images on one computer.

 
 
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