We have previously written that sex crimes are among the most reviled and highly punished offenses. Law enforcement works especially hard to prosecute individuals for alleged sex crimes involving children or minors.
Recently, a Wisconsin man was one of 245 people arrested in one of the largest child pornography crackdowns in recent history. The campaign, which was a collaboration between The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was dubbed "Operation Sunflower."
According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the goal of Operation Sunflower was to "target individuals who own, trade and produce images of child pornography." The Wisconsin resident who was arrested is a 27-year-old man from Beaver Dam. Authorities say he has been charged with possession of child pornography.
The other goal of the campaign, according to news sources, was to identify and rescue the children portrayed in the images and videos. Of the 123 victims identified, 110 were Americans living throughout 19 states. The remaining victims were spread throughout six other countries.
The very scope of "Operation Sunflower" highlights just how seriously child sex crimes are regarded and prosecuted. But as with any large law enforcement bust, the high number of defendants arrested makes it more likely that mistakes could have been made.
Depending on how information was gathered, some evidence may not hold up to scrutiny. For instance, it is possible that some defendants allegedly in possession of child pornography may have had their unsecured wireless internet hijacked by a neighbor or someone else with tech savvy.
Anyone facing sex crimes charges including possession of child pornography needs to seek the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney. With the stakes as high as they are, defendants need a strong advocate on their side to make sure they receive a fair trial and that their rights are protected.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Beaver Dam man arrested in child exploitation sweep," Georgia Pabst, Jan. 3, 2013