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Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney’s Office
Description: Tulsa, Oklahoma: The United States of America indicted 33 individuals for production and/or possession of child pornography.
Operation Clean Sweep netted 33 alleged child predators in 10 of the 11 counties in the Northern District of Oklahoma. Twelve of those defendants have pleaded guilty thus far in federal court. The operation further identified and/or rescued 12 child victims during the investigation.
“Operation Clean Sweep was a joint law enforcement investigation designed to help counteract the spike in internet facilitated child-exploitation crimes, in part fueled by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “The operation concentrated resources and personnel to identify and help victims of child sex abuse and hold accountable those who exploit them. I appreciate our law enforcement partners who identified these 33 alleged predators of children and brought them forward for federal prosecution.”
With the onset of COVID-19 lockdowns during 2020, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received more than 65 million child pornography files in nearly 22 million CyberTipline reports- the highest numbers ever recorded and a 28% increase from 2019.
NCMEC’s CyberTipline is the nation’s centralized reporting system for the online exploitation of children. The public and electronic service providers can make reports of suspected online enticement of children for sexual acts, extra-familial child sexual molestation, child pornography, child sex tourism, child sex trafficking, unsolicited obscene materials sent to a child, misleading domain names, and misleading words or digital images on the internet.
As Oklahoma’s jurisdictional landscape has evolved in the last year, continuing strong partnerships among all law enforcement and victims’ services agencies is critical to ensuring the public’s safety. Most of the Northern District lies within the Cherokee and Muscogee Nations’ reservations. The federal government’s ability to prosecute a variety of child exploitation cases has expanded as well as the number of cases. Fourteen of the 33 cases being prosecuted as part of Operation Clean Sweep fall within Indian Country jurisdiction.
Operation Clean Sweep is led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Nassar with support from Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Snow. Law enforcement agencies taking part in the operation are U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Tulsa Police Department, Bristow Police Department, Broken Arrow Police Department, Owasso Police Department, Sand Springs Police Department, Jenks Police Department, Rogers Country Sheriff’s Office, Muscogee Nation Lighthorse Police Department, and the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service.
Outcome: Indictment is not proof of guilty but only of probable cause.