Catching online child predators before they strike
Step parents can take to help protect their children
Another reason why you should monitor your child's time on the internet very closely. An undercover investigation by US Postal Inspectors nabbed dozens of child predators trolling the web for kids and sex.
“This individual who had been pre-determined to possibly have a sexual interest in children was sent an undercover solicitation by our agency,” said Inspector Wylie Christopher.
Postal inspectors set up sting operations nationwide to identify, target and arrest those who produce and traffic child pornography. In this particular case, the suspect took the bait.
“After responding to this solicitation, he requested more information which led to him purchasing what he believed was child pornography from us,” said Christopher.
That's when inspectors made their next move.
“Once this individual placed an order for what he believed was child exploitation material – we packaged it up and we delivered it to him and once he accepted this package we executed a search warrant of his residence,” explained Christopher.
They discovered more illegal pictures.
“We found printed images as well as digital images of child exploitation and more specifically child pornography in his residence,” he said.
Postal inspectors says the man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.
There are things parents can do to protect their children:
- Familiarize yourself with social networking, file sharing and online communication sites used by your children.
- Have computers in an open area of the home.
- Always ask questions if you sense your child is feeling uncomfortable about something.
“As a parent, it is our responsibility as well as our duty to raise our children up as best as we can and the safest environment," said Christopher.
If you suspect someone is trying to solicit your child online, do not delete any material and don't shut down the computer. Turn off the monitor and report your concerns immediately to police o you can make a report at www.cybertipline.com or call (800) 843-5678.