Nebraska has participated in a national crackdown on child predators, arresting 22 people the past two months.
Called Operation Broken Heart II, the two-month effort led by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention involved 3,000 law enforcement officers; federal, state, and local.
Nebraska State Patrol Sergeant Eric Jones says the operation wanted both to make arrests and to make its presence known.
“By doing an operation like this, parents, children, and offenders alike know that we’re out there doing what we can to protect children in Nebraska and to work with allied agencies both nationally, internationally to capture those Internet predators,” Jones tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
The Nebraska Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received 120 complaints during April and May, leading to 95 investigations and 22 arrests related to child enticement and exploitation, including the making and possessing of child pornography. The statewide task force, under the direction of the Nebraska State Patrol, is comprised of 60 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and prosecutorial offices.
Nationwide, the special enforcement resulted in 1,140 arrests in 41 states.
Jones says it is important law enforcement work across state lines to arrest child predators.
“It’s common for us to have predators in Nebraska who are preying on children in other states and vice versa,” Jones says. “And so, we work together with those other 60 task forces to target those individuals and to keep children safe.”
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.