Islanders charged in national child pornography investigation

Ryan Ross
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RCMP

The RCMP and police agencies from across Canada have removed five children from harm and arrested or are investigating 150 people as part of a national operation that targeted child exploitation.

P.E.I. RCMP reported the province’s integrated child exploitation unit (ICE) made five arrests and have seven people with charges pending.

In a news release, Const. Shannon Hodder of the P.E.I. ICE unit said the RCMP continually work to prevent Internet facilitated child sexual exploitation and victimization of children.

“It’s hard to imagine the scope of the problem worldwide and even more difficult to accept that our communities here on P.E.I. are not immune.”

The arrests were part of Operation Snapshot III that started in February, involved more than 40 police agencies and was coordinated through the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre.

Operation Snapshot III targeted people who collect, possess, share, make available, distribute and produce child sexual exploitation material online.

The operation involved 167 investigations and resulted in the seizure of hundreds of computers and hard drives plus about 2 million images or videos across Canada.

The rescued children were from British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec.

Hodder said it’s important to stay vigilant towards the safety of children, which can be challenging because of technology and the secretive nature of the threats that seem to be constantly changing.

“Harm to our children won’t be tolerated.”

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Canada, British Columbia, Ontario New Brunswick Quebec

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Recent comments

  • anon
    June 20, 2014 - 11:52

    People say all these things like we're living in the 1800s again or something. Lynch them in public, kill the lot of them, etc. I wonder how much worse their crimes would be if they know they are going to die for them. I find it absolutely hilarious, people say all these things, until it's their brother, son, best friend or some other relative who has this stuff in their posession. Then it's different. How many times have I seen that. To 90% of the families, it comes as a surprise. It can happen to anyone. I do wonder about it, too. What would you to? 11 Islanders, that's like what 15 since January. How many more? What if it was a close friend or relative who possessed it? You going to turn your back on them, lynch them over a mistake or for being sick? What about the people who were molested all their lives and are victims and survivors, who develop some sort of sexual dysfunction that causes them to want to view this stuff. Hell, lynch them too. That mindset is ridiculous. Everyone talks a big game until it's somebody they love in the news, NOBODY is excempt from that. We still don't know why, but it's been established that it is a sickness. You don't know these people, what lead them to this point or whether or not they were victims themselves. Like I said, the content being there is the real problem. Every cancer patient that watches Breaking Bad is not going to go out and start a meth lab to provide for his family, every person who watches horror movies isn't going to go out and kill people. Every person who looks at porn is not going to go out and rape people or molest children. The ones that do all have something in common though, something went wrong up there. They need mental help. 200 images of toddlers and preteens being abused, or 2000 images of older teens 16-17, I'd definitely look at the 200 images of toddlers as worse. There are different types of offenders with different preferences and different scenarios of how they got to where they are. Saying these people should all be killed is extremely over-the-top and really some of these people can be otherwise good people who fell into this and started looking at the images, that these child molestors and distributers put there. It's those people who deserve the maximum punishments, and the second/third time less serious offenders who don't stop even after being offered help. You can send them to jail for the rest of their lives, their taking with them the mental images of these exploited children. You can kill them, which will only make them more aggressive and vigilant when committing the crimes, none of those things reverse the abuse and exploitation. Two wrongs don't make a right. I stand behind my previous remarks, 100%. It's the people who are allowing this content to be there that are half the problem.

  • Sandy
    June 20, 2014 - 09:36

    I bet those arrested on the Island are glad they live here. That guarantees a nothing sentence from the Island judges. Any where else it would be 10 fold. Crime surely pays on PEI and its attitude of could not care less about the tortures the victim endures.

  • Ex Islander
    June 20, 2014 - 09:17

    I agree, they should be strapped to a post and shot. Human trash. But judges will slap them on the wrist and put them in protective custody. One thing that concerns me is how many Islanders are involved. 150 across the country and 12 are from PEI? With 0.004% of the population of Canada, there shouldn't be any arrests here. If I'm reading this right (12 people from PEI) "five arrests and have seven people with charges pending." Then there is a deep sickness on the island that is disproportionate to the population size. Anon has a valid point if not poorly stated. Interenet service providers should be held accountable. They can trace all this stuff and make the policing job faster and more comprehensive. Unfortunately if IP's shut down the internet access, it would just go more underground. So back to my original comment, set an example and lynch the lot of them in public.

  • cwelsh26
    June 20, 2014 - 07:45

    These FFFing Pervs need to be punished so much more. I see guys that smoke weed get more in our courts than these PERVS. Our Justice system is so screwed. These people should be put in prison with convicted killers so maybe they can feel as unsecure as these poor little kids they victomize. We need to find a small island and just drop them there and forget about them.

  • Anon
    June 20, 2014 - 03:01

    I am nt going to defend anybody here, so I hope my post doesn't come out like I am. I think producers of child pornography deserve every bit of punishment they get, and more. However, I am scepticle of how much these arrests really do. If you are going to save some children and lock up child molestors, that's great. But it costs thousands and thousands of dollars to lock these other people up, which we are paying for, and then we're short on other things. Our EI and social assistance are a joke, we don't have proper care for people with drug and mental health issues, among a plethora of other shortages. How about we hold some of these internet and webhost providers accountable? The ones making millions of dollars and only offering minimal tips/support to the RCMP. You lock a couple of them up for being cheap, lazy and careless, then see how things start to change. See how much assistance and blockages they offer then. The technology is there. Invest some of this money they would be spending on locking dozens of people up a year for having a few child porn pictures, on better technology, sageguards, flagging, monitoring and all this stuff to actually put a REAL dent in the underlying problem. The two problems are not mutually exclusive. For every chld porn collector that goes away, another one begins. I wonder if any of those 5 rescued children will later become collectors due to sexual dysfinction? They are just throwing money at the jails and locking people in cages to deal with this problem, each time I read of one of these big investigations, it just reminds me, it's not helping on the greater scope of things. Sure, a couple people might get away with it for now, but looking into the future, think of the real good that would come from it 10-20 years from now, if they actually invest some of this money into cleaning the internet, rather than feeding criminals three square meals a day. More than social assistance provides for, At the end of the day, millions and millions of dollars between the US and Canada alone are being wasted on locking up these criminals who's only real crimes are gratifying themselves on the internet to minors that have already been exploited. Meanwhile, these internet providers who let it go on and turn a blind eye, offering minimal support are sitting around getting rich. Hell, 11 child porn collectors; customers. That's paying somebody's salary. At this rate, they will never even sratch the surface of the real problem, and they'll throw away millions of tax payer dollars.

    • Somebody's child
      June 20, 2014 - 06:31

      Pretty obvious you've never been the victim, probably best to say nothing if that's your outlook on the situation. Heck maybe you are one of the pedophiles or distributors! I personally think this is great and not all victims turn into child molesters!!!! The abuse stops here if you realize that you were a victim and it's not your fault. My you definitely will rattle a lot of chains by your statement...hope the investigation goes well for you! Hats off to you and your team Hodder, people like you that give a damn make my heart smile!

    • Bob
      June 20, 2014 - 07:15

      Your comment is pathetic, I can certainly understand why you didn't sign your name. What makes you think it was a few pictures? Did you ever think that locking these people up might save someone from having mental health issues in the future? I suppose you want to hold the car manufacturers responsible for every drunk driver out there as well. Jeez I could go on and on but won't bother.

    • twisted
      June 20, 2014 - 07:20

      when someone watches child porn, it normalizes the behaviour in the mind of the viewer and promotes them to act out on their urges, hence locking up "these people" is telling them loud and clear that it's wrong and is the only way we have to protect our children (we aren't allowed to castrate these offenders and have done away with capital punishment). Any normal person viewing this stuff would find it absolutely sickening. Anyone twisted enough to want to view child porn absolutely deserves to be locked up.

    • @ anon
      June 20, 2014 - 07:53

      there was a case in Ontario years ago where a guy was in his home, watching child porn. It stimulated him to the point that when he saw a female child walk by, he grabbed her, dragged her into his home and raped her. After realizing what he'd done, in an attempt to cover his tracks, he murdered the child and disposed of her body. Unfortunately, this is not a one-off type incident. Anyone interested in viewing this sickness is likely to act out on it. That's why authorities spend the money to track them down and lock them up.

    • Dylan
      June 20, 2014 - 11:45

      @ Anon, sounds like you are trying to justify the unjustifiable.

  • Protective Mama Bear
    June 19, 2014 - 22:40

    It ruins a child's life. Steals their safety, security, personality, sexuality. Offenders - actively OR indirectly harming these children should serve life. They stole a life, they owe theirs and then some. The measure of our society is how we treat our children and others vulnerable.

  • same story
    June 19, 2014 - 18:28

    Harm to our children is being tolerated , not by the police but for some unknown reason by the judges. The penalty for this behavior is must too light.

    • patrick
      June 19, 2014 - 19:51

      I agree, so much time and effort is put into capturing these low lifes only to get a slap on the wrist. Should have at least a minimum of 15yrs for these types of crimes.