Police Arrest 9 in Child Porn Bust – Nevada

A task forced busted a child pornography ring in southern Nevada, taking nine people for having child porn. One of the men is accused of creating that pornography and police say they’ve rescued a child who was being abused by one of the men.

It took weeks of undercover work stopping criminals who get on the computer and prey on children. Men hiding in the anonymity of cyberspace were arrested and exposed for peddling child porn online.

“If anybody downloads videos and images of children being raped, we’re going to come get you. We’re going to find you and we’re going to arrest you,” said Metro Sergeant Troy Barrett.

SLIDESHOW: Pictures of Suspects Arrested in Child Pornography Bust

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force announced nine child pornography arrests, ranging from Thomas Krattenmaker busted by a Metro undercover detective to Hector Gonzalez who was turned in by his employer for allegedly downloading child porn.

And then there’s a man already familiar with the law. Michael Ward, a registered sex offender, now caught again in this sting, police say, for sexually abusing children.

“During his assaults of the juveniles, he produced, which means he captured, the images of the attacks,” said Sgt. Barrett.

To protect the victims, police would not elaborate about ward’s case. At this point, police don’t believe there are any other victims from this latest sting, but everything is still under investigation.

“It’s a huge problem, not only here in the valley, but nationwide,” said Stephanie Parker with Nevada Child Seekers.

Parker says parents should be aware of online dangers, “For parents who allow children to go into their bedroom with a computer with internet access, you might as well invite a stranger in from off the street to go up to that child’s room.”

Predators lurking in cyberspace could target your child, gaining harmful personal information in just minutes, “The information that predators can find out is, you wouldn’t believe it. People are just floored.”

She says you should monitor your kids’ computer time and watch for a change in their behavior. The internet is a good tool, but authorities say it also attracts too many with bad intentions.

It’s easy to say to talk to your kids, but that’s difficult because a lot of parents aren’t aware of what’s all on the web.

Police encourage parents to educate their children about accessing certain websites and the dangers that are on the Internet. Police recommend these websites:
http://www.cybertipline.com and http://www.netsmartz.org.

For more information on safety resources for parents or to inquire about internet safety classes, you may call Nevada Child Seekers at 458-7009.

MICHAEL WARD

Michael Ward is facing federal charges of producing child pornography. His victim was a local child and police say there may be others.

Thomas Krattenmaker
Hector Gonzalez
Paul Smith
Terry Ziegler
Juan Vega
Daniel Combes
Anthony Flores

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