Two natives of Chattam County are among the 1,700 arrested having accused of child sex exploitation crimes as a nationwide initiative taken by the Department of Justice. The accused are identified as Steven Andrew Ross having 29 years of age and belonging from Savannah, while the other has been identified as Benjamin ray of 38 years age belonging from Honea path of S.C. The former has been charged with the attempted child sex trafficking of a minor and attempted coercion and as well as enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity for incidents in Camden and Chattam Counties. The later is charged with attempted coercion and enticement of a minor in order to engage in sexual activity and felony offense that involves a minor committed by a registered sex offender for incidents in Chatham County as stated by Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

The officials state that the federal charges for which ray has been indicted carries a penalty of 20 years to life in prison, whereas the charges against Ross carries a penalty of a decade to life in prison.

The operation that was carried out by the Department of Justice has been named  “Operation Broken Heart” and was conducted during April and May by the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces have paved the way to the arrest of almost 1,700 suspected as the online child sex offenders. Furthermore, the taskforces have identified 308 offenders who either produced child pornography or have committed child sexual abuse and as well as identified 357 children who suffered recent, ongoing or historical sexual abuse or were in other ways exploited in the production of child pornography. During the tenure of the operation, the task forces have investigated over 18,500 complaints of the technology facilitated crimes that targets children and delivered over 2,150 presentations in internet safety to over 201,000 youth and adults.

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