Florida child porn bust..


TALLAHASSEE, Fla.   State, local and federal authorities have arrested 77 suspects on child pornography charges and rescued five young victims.

Gov. Charlie Crist announced the 10-week crackdown Tuesday at a news conference with "America's Most Wanted" TV host John Walsh and Attorney General Bill McCollum.

The suspects range in age from 17 to 83 and include two registered sex offenders. The last person was arrested Tuesday in Tallahassee.

Walsh called the crackdown "historic" and heaped praise on Crist and McCollum, saying he hoped both Republicans will win their next political races.

Crist is running for U.S. senator and McCollum for governor.

Wow! Were any of the 5 the victims missing children? 17 to 83? 77 people arrested? Wow



There are pics at the link of 6 people arrested



Published: June 9, 2009

Related Links

Booking photos of those arrested
Map: Places of arrests
Map: Distribution of child pornography in Fla.
TALLAHASSEE - A statewide effort to crack down on child pornography has resulted in 77 arrests of individuals across the state more than half of which occurred in Polk County.

John Walsh, host "America's Most Wanted" joined Gov. Charlie Crist and Attorney General Bill McCollum in Tallahassee today to announce the results of "Operation Orange Tree," a 10-week, multi-agency effort in which law enforcement executed 90 search warrants and seized thousands of photos and videos.

"This is an historic day," said Walsh, who became an anti-crime activist and launched his television show after the 1981 murder of his six-year-old son Adam in Hollywood, Fla. "I feel like the work of 27 years has come to fruition on this historic day."

Individuals arrested ranged from ages 17 to 83, including two who were already registered as sex offenders. The operation took place mostly from mid-March through May, with the most recent arrest occurring this morning in Leon County.

"More arrests are expected shortly," Crist said. "Most importantly, five of Florida's precious children were rescued out of this despicable activity."

Twenty-three agencies took part in the effort including the Polk County Sheriff's Office, which made 45 of the arrests. Crist and McCollum lauded Polk Sheriff Grady Judd in particular for marshalling the resources to make the crack down on child pornography a high priority.

The high-profile press event took an overtly political turn when Walsh took the opportunity to endorse Gov. Charlie Crist in the race for U.S. Senate. He likewise endorsed McCollum for governor, "to pick up the mantle and take up where Charlie has left off."

Florida ranks 4th in the nation in volume of child pornography, according to the Federal Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Crist established the state's Child Predator/CyberCrime Unit in 2005 when he was Attorney General; the unit now has 30 members and five offices statewide, including in Tampa.

Reporter Catherine Dolinski can be reached at (850) 222-8382.


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