Flint Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Gives 6 Month Report
In its first six months of operation, the Flint Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force has initiated over 65 investigations, resulting in over 33 search warrants and several arrests with more pending.
Crimes investigated to date include possession, manufacture and distribution of child pornography. Prosecutors have also sought additional charges for using a computer to commit these crimes.
For 2012, the Flint ICAC task force has identified more then 100 investigative leads they will be working on. Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton stated "exploration of children is one of the dark sides of the internet and we are doing all we can to bring predators to justice."
The Flint ICAC task force is searching every corner of Genesee County to identify offenders. Lt. Tom Kish of the Michigan State Police (MSP) said "we will conduct operations from Mt. Morris to Fenton, Davison to Swartz Creek, and all areas in between. Those individuals who would seek to prey upon children using technology shoule beware; we will find you."
The idea to form the task force began in June 2011 when Kish and Chief Alvern Lock of the Flint Police Department met to discuss growing public safety concern of child predators and purveyors of child pornography. Following that meeting, they developed a plan of action that included establishing a multi-jurisdictional group of investigators and analysts to address crimes committed by individuals manufacturing, possessing and distributing child sexually abusive materials utilizing the internet. As part of the plan, the Flint Police Department provided space from within the department to house task force investigators and the MSP agreed to provide the training and equipment needed to be successful in this special area of investigation.
The Flint ICAC is one of four ICAC task force concepts administered by the MSP. The Michigan ICAC is part of a nationwide task force of technology investigators and prosecutors dedicated to combat technology facilitated crimes against children. The ICAC receives federal funding to train and equip its members to conduct the in-depth investigation and digital forensic analysis.