Jul 11 2017

St. Louis County Executive Announces Expansion of Cyber Crime Unit

The St. Louis County Multi-Jurisdiction Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is using a state grant to hire an additional detective from Jefferson County. The unit exists to address the issue of the exploitation of adults and minors, where the victims are often forced into human trafficking and/or prostitution.

“The work of this task force has led to hundreds of criminals being put behind bars and dozens of victims being rescued from dire situations,” St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said. “This grant will help us continue to improve public safety throughout the St. Louis region.”

In 2016, the St. Louis County Multi-jurisdiction Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested 91 people related to the sexual exploitation of children, conducted 70 search warrants, and identified 28 child victims.

Two weeks ago, the unit arrested 14 men for patronizing prostitution during an undercover operation at a variety of locations within St. Louis and St. Charles counties. Police also seized five handguns and suspected drugs during the process.

So far in 2017, the task force has arrested 39 suspects for charges related to the sexual exploitation of children.

“This task force attacks crime from all angles and does so both proactively and reactively,” St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said. “We expect our reach to have an even greater impact in the region with the addition of an investigator from Jefferson County joining the team.”

The $265,000 grant comes from the State Cyber Crime Grant Program.

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