ICE busts 245 child porn sex suspects, some linked to S.A.

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by Mayra Moreno / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @mayramorenokens

kens5.com

Posted on January 3, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 3 at 8:41 PM

SAN ANTONIO - More than one hundred sexually-exploited victims, some as young as three years old, have been identified and rescued. It was a nationwide bust by ICE with ties to San Antonio.

ICE rounded up more than 200 people who were selling or producing child porn. They also rescued young victims—one of them is from San Antonio.

From pornographic videos to graphic photos of children, ICE agents combed through evidence.

"There was a lot of work that was done aggressively before the holidays," said Nina Pruneda with ICE.

Operation Sunflower was launched to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a case when agents were able to identify a sunflower-shaped road sign in a young victim's photo out of Kansas.

"We were able to rescue an 11-year-old girl who was being abused at the same time," said Pruneda.

With that same aggressiveness, agents looked for key pieces of information that could link them to the suspects—some whose faces were recognizable were posted online.

That led to tips and the arrests of 245 suspects. Thirteen were from Central and South Texas.

They also rescued and identified 123 victims. Some were rescued directly from the hands of their abusers.

"But those are not the only victims. There are those victims who are adults now but they're still being seen via the internet," said Pruneda.

Which is why the Department of Homeland Security is going after those selling and receiving child porn, no matter who they are.

"If you're a professor, a doctor, a lawyer," continued Pruneda. "Nobody is above the law. We will go after you."

Judges who are handling these porn cases are laying down the law. In a recent case out of New Braunfels, a violator was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

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