Persons accused of child pornography or sexual abuse of minors charges typically deal with the FBI or with local police agencies and task forces. However, the Denver Post has an interesting article about the increased role that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is taking in the pursuit of sex criminals.
According to the Denver Post article, ICE is the largest investigative arm under the Department of Homeland Security, and fighting child pornography, child sexual tourism and trafficking of children is one of ICE's top priorities. "We are working around the globe -- and the violators know no border -- and it is incumbent on us to be nimble from a law enforcement perspective," said David Marwell, Denver's acting special agent in charge.
Similar to local investigating authorities, ICE agents work undercover on peer-to-peer networks on the Internet to track down child pornography and work with local and global partners on capturing the producers of the images. The article reports, "And while many federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are investigating the child-porn problem, ICE has specific statutes it can enforce and a presence around the world with 69 offices in 49 countries."
The ICE website discusses one particularly successful investigation called "Operation Falcon, which" identified 39 websites distributing child pornography and led to the arrest of 1,200 international downloaders and more than 300 U.S. customers. Nine individuals from the United States and Belarus were identified and charged as the principals in this investigation. All principals were convicted on various charges related to money laundering, as well as the production and distribution of child pornography.
It's clear that the Government is not limited by its borders in pursuit of alleged sexual criminals. As the world grows smaller, the reach of investigating authorities grows larger.