As a means to catch individuals in the act or to collect evidence them, law enforcement may use a sting operation. These are often used in certain situation or for specific crimes, such as child pornography. While these matters can be very shocking and overwhelming for those arrested, it is important for defendants to understand that these operations are not perfect and mistakes can be made. Thus, it is possible to assert a criminal defense that could help the accused reduce and even dismiss the charges against them.
According to recent reports, a multi-state sting operation resulted in the arrest of 76 individuals. This sting operation entitled Operation Southern Impact II was focused on capturing individuals engaged in the sexual exploitation of minors. The focus was especially on those matters involving infants and toddlers. While investigations targeting the trade of all type of child pornography occurs regularly, this operation targeted those seeking out and distributing the most violent forms of pornography that involve infants and toddlers.
This task force involved more than 200 law enforcement agencies and spanned eight states, including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Those arrested in this operation were charged with the possession of child pornography or the distribution of it. Others were also charged with traveling with the intent to have sex with a minor. Offenders ranged from 17-years-old to 73-years-old and included those from a wide array of backgrounds and professions.
This operation involved 136 search warrants and 100 knock and talks. This resulted in 736 digital devices being previewed and 1,255 digital devices being seized, with 235 of them being a mobile phone. While this operation is extensive an involved many people, several states and much evidence, it is important that those arrested in this sting operation understand that these matters are complex and mistakes could be made. Whether it is an unlawful search or seizure, tainted evidence or an illegal arrest, it is important to look at all the details of the matter.
By initiating a criminal defense, those facing minor or serious charges are able to take a stand and protect their rights. Understanding the criminal defense strategies available can assist a defendant by helping them reduce or even dismiss that charges against them.