Ontario child porn bust snares 60

Police in Ontario have arrested 60 men — including a daycare worker — and charged them with hundreds of child pornography offences.

The co-ordinated raids by 24 police forces across Ontario picked up the suspects in the days leading up to Thursday's announcement.

"The is one of the largest co-ordinated efforts of its kind in Ontario," said Det.-Sgt. Frank Goldschmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police. "We anticipate there will be several more charged."

Goldschmidt said police from Windsor, London, Niagara, Toronto, Barrie, Sudbury, Ottawa — virtually every major centre in the province — participated in the sweep.

In total 76 search warrants were executed and 60 males arrested — including three people who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

"They come from all walks of life. All occupations … a daycare worker was arrested — and all different age groups, as well." said Goldschmidt.

Initially police have laid 213 charges for possessing, making distributing and accessing child porn. They say there could be more charges as their investigation continues.

"I'm also gratified to report that 22 victims have been identified," though Goldschmidt said he was not at liberty to provide any further information about the victims.

The unusually large police news conference, held at a hotel in Vaughan, Ont., just north of Toronto, was also a way of highlighting what investigators say is a fast-growing crime in Canada's most populous province.

Police said the 60 individuals taken into custody were found after police uncovered nearly 9,000 IP address linked to child pornography. The IP addresses can be found in every major centre in Ontario and led police to say that the problem of child pornography is no longer a strictly "urban" crime.

"In any of the Canadian crime trends this is probably one of the only crimes that is still on a fairly substantial increase," Goldschmidt said.

Police did not say if they were gathering evidence on the other IP addresses.

But, Goldschmidt said, advances in technology are allowing those interested in child pornography easier access and sharing of files. "We've noticed that the numbers are just steadily increasing."

Police said they could not say if the men were operating as a ring. "At this point in time it is even too early to say if these people were connected with one another," said Goldschmidt.

He said he believed they were operating individually.

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