HOUSTON — Assistant Legal professional Common Kenneth A. Well mannered, Jr. acknowledged 5 particular brokers and one group supervisor from Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) with the Assistant Legal professional Common’s Award for Distinctive Service Jan. 19 throughout the 2022 U.S. Division of Justice Felony Division Assistant Legal professional Common Awards in Washington, D.C.
The annual awards ceremony acknowledges personnel from DOJ and the regulation enforcement neighborhood for excellent achievements in public service.
The catalyst for HSI personnel receiving the award was a transnational youngster exploitation investigation dubbed “Operation Whiplash” that focused hosts, homeowners, community directors and moderators who have been working web relay chats to share youngster sexual abuse materials.
Among the many six people from HSI who have been acknowledged included 5 from HSI Philadelphia who led the investigation, and one from HSI Houston who labored with HSI Philadelphia to coordinate with the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for prosecutions happening within the Southern District of Texas and in addition traveled to the UK to help in different areas of the investigation. The people from HSI Philadelphia who have been acknowledged included Group Supervisor Patricia M. Mullin, Particular Agent Joshua Conrad, Particular Agent Richard Cerminaro, Particular Agent/Pc Forensic Analyst James P. Munjone, and Particular Agent/Polygrapher Thad A. Baxter. Particular Agent Laura Gill was acknowledged from HSI Houston.
Six people from DOJ who labored alongside HSI to prosecute felony wrongdoing discovered on account of the investigation have been additionally acknowledged throughout the ceremony. Among the many DOJ personnel acknowledged have been Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Sherri Lynn Zack, Trial Legal professional James E. Burke IV, Senior Investigative Analyst Julie Okay. Raine, Digital Investigative Analyst Joshua B. Storey, and Paralegal Specialist Lolita Stevenson.
So far, Operation Whiplash has resulted within the indictment and arrest of 17 community directors concerned within the distribution of kid sexual abuse materials within the U.S. and Europe and is instantly credited with a complete of twenty-two arrests, 22 indictments and 10 convictions. The investigation has additionally spawned 17 collateral investigations and quite a few investigative referrals resulting in an extra 16 arrests, 14 indictments and 4 convictions.
“Considered one of HSI’s biggest priorities is to unmask youngster predators around the globe who search to cover their identities behind a supposed veil of anonymity on the web. Our HSI particular brokers and felony analysts have the talents, know-how, and drive to raise this veil and expose these criminals and their heinous crimes to the world,” stated Particular Agent in Cost William S. Walker, HSI Philadelphia. “These awards personify the dedication of HSI personnel in Philadelphia and Houston who, working side-by-side, dismantled a community prolific purveyors and distributors of kid sexual abuse materials situated throughout the globe. I’m happy with the devoted investigators and prosecutors who, via cooperation and private sacrifice, have as soon as once more safeguarded our youngsters from such threats.”
“With out the tireless effort by everybody who labored on this investigation to efficiently root out the community directors and different people concerned in offering these shops for youngster sexual abuse materials to be shared, predators from across the globe would have continued to stay free to victimize an untold variety of harmless kids utilizing these platforms,” stated Particular Agent in Cost Mark Dawson, HSI Houston. “Their efforts to dismantle these vile networks and put the people accountable behind bars are really worthy of recognition and I commend them for his or her unyielding dedication to guard our most weak inhabitants.”
HSI is acknowledged as a worldwide chief in combatting youngster exploitation, and is dedicated to using its huge authorities, worldwide footprint and powerful partnerships to establish and rescue youngster victims, establish and apprehend offenders, forestall transnational youngster sexual abuse, and assist make the web a safer place for youngsters. HSI personnel around the globe work tirelessly to guard kids from exploitation by predators who’re concerned within the manufacturing, distribution and possession of kid sexual abuse materials and who journey internationally to interact in illicit sexual conduct with minors.
HSI employs the newest know-how to gather proof and monitor the actions of people and arranged teams who sexually exploit kids utilizing the darkish net, chat rooms, peer-to-peer buying and selling and different internet-based platforms. This important public security mission is supported by the HSI Little one Exploitation Investigations Unit (CEIU), which is housed inside the HSI Cyber Crimes Middle (C3). The CEIU offers help to HSI area places of work; coordinates main investigations; conducts operations all through the world to establish and rescue youngster victims and to establish and apprehend offenders; and delivers coaching to HSI personnel in addition to state, native, federal and worldwide regulation enforcement companions.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (DHS), accountable for investigating transnational crime and threats, particularly these felony organizations that exploit the worldwide infrastructure via which worldwide commerce, journey, and finance transfer. HSI’s workforce of greater than 8,700 workers consists of greater than 6,000 particular brokers assigned to 237 cities all through america, and 93 abroad places in 56 nations. HSI’s worldwide presence represents DHS’s largest investigative regulation enforcement presence overseas and one of many largest worldwide footprints in U.S. regulation enforcement.