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18 rescued in child pornography raids, feds say

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:21 PM EDT, Fri June 8, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Some of the child victims were residing in homes of adults arrested
  • NEW: 190 people are arrested in United States and other countries
  • NEW: Arrests are made in 33 states plus Puerto Rico
  • NEW: A child in San Diego was photographed in a shower

(CNN) -- Eighteen victims of child pornography were rescued during a nationwide sweep by federal law enforcement agencies, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Friday.

The sweep, dubbed Operation Orion, resulted in the arrests of 190 individuals. Most of them were in the U.S., but some were in Argentina, the Philippines, Spain and the United Kingdom, ICE said in a news release. The operation took place from May 1 to May 31.

The arrests were made in 33 states and Puerto Rico, authorities said.

Some of the victims were residing in the homes of the persons arrested, ICE spokeswoman Danielle Bennett said.

For example, a child in San Diego was photographed in a shower, and authorities made a rescue in that home, Bennett said.

"Let this operation be a warning to anyone who would think they can use the Internet to exploit children: we are out there looking for you, we will find you, and you will be prosecuted," ICE Director John Morton said in a statement.

Morton said that as children begin summer vacations, parents should pay extra attention to how much time they spend on the Internet.

"Many of the child exploitation cases under Operation Orion began with a child or teen chatting with someone he or she met online," Morton said in the statement.

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2011: 72 charged in online global child porn ring

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