An investigation by a metro area Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force has led to the arrest of a man in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Edmond police detectives working on the ICAC task force reportedly discovered child pornography being downloaded and distributed from an IP address in the Oklahoma City suburb. They traced the IP address to the home of Aaron VanStavern, 43.
Earlier this month, detectives served a search warrant at the home, and reportedly uncovered child pornography on the suspect's computer. They say that when questioned, the man admitted to downloading child pornography.
VanStavern was arrested on complaints of possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. Authorities say the investigation is ongoing.
Most commonly, child pornography arrests are the result of online investigations into file sharing sites. Typically, those arrested for possession and distribution of child pornography are not producing the explicit images of minors, but rather downloading and/or uploading these files to file sharing sites.
Typically, these investigations are conducted by local ICAC task forces.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program is an initiative of the United Stated Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). According to the OJJDP, the ICAC program "helps state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and Internet crimes against children. This help encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, and community education."
The agency states that, since its inception in 1998, the ICAC program has trained more than 500,000 law enforcement officers and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute internet crimes involving the sexual exploitation of minors. During that time, local ICAC task forces have conducted more than 580,000 child pornography investigations and arrested more than 60,000 people.
The Oklahoma ICAC task force is headed by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) with
51 affiliate partner agencies. The local task force members include District Attorney's Offices, Sheriff's Departments, and municipal Police Departments.
Often, online activities seem anonymous and untouchable, but as people continue to use technology to commit illegal acts, law enforcement agencies use the same technology to catch and prosecute these activities. Online solicitation of minors, downloading child pornography, and lewd or indecent proposals to minors are some of the acts which may be carried out online and detected and prosecuted by local law enforcement through its ICAC task force members.
If you or a loved one is accused of committing an internet sex crime, call 405-778-4800 for a free, confidential consultation with an Oklahoma sex crimes defense lawyer.