Flint Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Conducts 65 Investigations in First Six Months in Operation
FLINT. 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. The Flint ICAC task force has identified more than 100 investigative leads they will be working on in 2012.
"Exploitation of children is one of the dark sides of the internet and we are doing all we can to bring predators to justice," stated Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
The Flint ICAC task force is searching every corner of Genesee County to identify offenders.
"We will conduct operations from Mt. Morris to Fenton, Davison to Swartz Creek, and all areas in between," said D/F/Lt. Tom Kish of the Michigan State Police. "Those individuals who would seek to prey upon children using technology should beware; we will find you."
The passion for the mission inspired Chief Dave Stamm of the Grand Blanc Township Police Department to contribute a forensic examiner to support the task force.
"The Grand Blanc Township Police Department is committed to identifying and prosecuting individuals who seek to exploit children not only in our community, but also countywide."
The idea to form the task force began in June 2011 when D/F/Lt. Tom Kish of the Michigan State Police and Chief Alvern Lock of the Flint Police Department met to discuss the 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 multijurisdictional 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 this plan, the Flint Police Department provided space within the police department to house task force investigators and the Michigan State Police agreed to provide the training and equipment needed for investigators to be successful in this specialized area of investigation.
Assistance and resources were then sought from other partners, including the Grand Blanc Township Police Department; Michigan Department of Corrections; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Flint Office; and United States Secret Service. Additionally, the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office contributed a prosecutor to support task force operations.
The Flint ICAC task force is one of four ICAC task force concepts administered by the Michigan State Police in Michigan.
Other task force partners include the Wayne, Antrim, Ingham, Macomb, Ottawa and Grand Traverse County sheriff's offices; United States Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; United States Secret Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Midland, Livonia, Lansing, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Westland, Muskegon, Holland, Troy, Kentwood and New Baltimore police departments; and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and Michigan Attorney General's Office.
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 in-depth internet investigations and digital forensic analysis.