“Operation Keiki Shield” Nets 25 Arrests of Suspected Sex Predators

November 19, 2019, 7:39 AM HST · Updated November 20, 4:34 PM
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The Department of the Attorney General, through its Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force announced results of law enforcement operations aimed at protecting Hawaiʻi’s children.

Operation Keiki Shield was aimed at predators who approach children online for sex or sexual activities.

Under the operation, suspects responded to law enforcement officers posed as juveniles on internet sites, and were arrested after arriving at pre-arranged sites.

So far, authorities have conducted coordinated operations in March and in May on Oʻahu and earlier this month on Kauaʻi.  The three operations netted a total of 25 arrests to date.

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The operation was carried out by the Department of the Attorney General, along with numerous county, federal and military law enforcement partners.

The operations have thus far involved 95 law enforcement officers and professional staff from over a dozen county, state, federal and military law enforcement agencies, including: Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigations, US Secret Service, the US Attorney’s Office, the Honolulu Police Department, the Maui Police Department, the Kauaʻi Police Department, the Kauaʻi County Prosecutors, the Hawaiʻi County Prosecutors, the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Public Safety, the US Army Criminal Investigations Command, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the US Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, together with each of their Judge Advocate Generals.

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“The internet has become the preferred playground for child sex predators seeking innocent young victims,” said John F. Tobon, acting Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Honolulu. “Research shows one in 25 children ages 10 to 17 have received an online sexual overture where the person attempted to meet the child face-to-face. Parents and children alike must become security minded when dealing with social media platforms. Speak to your children about the risk and continually check the security settings as well as contacts of their social media accounts.”

“Protecting our children from predators is a priority for my office, and for every one of our partners,” said Attorney General Clare E. Connors. “I want anyone targeting children for sex online to know that law enforcement is here, we are looking for you, and we will arrest you.”

“Protecting children from child predators is of the utmost priority, and we really appreciate the support from our fellow law enforcement partners to do just that,” said Lt. Col. Tasha Vick, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Commander, Detachment 601.

“The Kauaʻi Police Department will remain vigilant and committed to stopping these illegal activities,” said Chief Todd Raybuck. “I want to assure our communities that our officers and staff are dedicated to this unified mission, and together we will make our island a safer place for us all.”

“As the Department of the Navy’s primary law enforcement organization, NCIS is dedicated to protecting Sailors, Marines, and their families from criminal threats,” said Special Agent in Charge for the NCIS Hawaii Field Office Norm Dominesey. “We are grateful to our law enforcement partners in this proactive effort to keep child predators off the streets where our DON families live and work.”

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