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Rabbi, cop, nurse among 70 arrested in child porn bust

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New York City Police and federal authorities have arrested at least 70 people in what’s being billed as one of the largest online child pornography busts ever.

According to the Associated Press, among those arrested are a rabbi, a Boy Scout leader, a little league baseball coach, a nurse, and a police officer, with most the arrests originating in the New York City area. In addition to charging dozens of men with exploting and photographing children, one New Jersey woman was also detained for allegedly using Skype to place her child in “compromising positions.”

The arrests come at the conclusion of a five-week long investigation carried out by NYPD officers in cooperation with federal officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Investigators set up a website that permitted individuals to share illicit images of children, and were able to begin identifying suspects when they uploaded pictures to the internet.

As reported by ABC News, the arrests allowed law enforcement officials to confiscate numerous hard drives and other devices, and police believe even more arrests are on the way once they are able to sift through all the data. While the majority of the arrests were made in New York City and its suburbs, the hard drives are expected to lead to “hundreds” of others.

Specifically, police confiscated 600 desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and more, amassing a total of 175 terabytes of storage. Speaking with NBC New York, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said it will also be aiding police by analyzing the images in an attempt to identify potential victims.

“We refer to each of these images as a crime scene photo because that’s exactly what they are,” the group’s CEO John Ryan said.

Speaking generally, police said the latest bust is further proof that technological progress has made it easier for consumers of child porn to share and acquire illicit images, and people should be aware that the illegal activity could be carried out by anyone.

Using and distributing child porn “is not something that is just done by unemployed drifters who live in their parent’s basement,” the ICE’s James Hayes said to the AP. “If this operation does anything, it puts the lie to the belief that the people who do this are not productive members of society.”

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