Task force works to keep children safe from predators - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Task force works to keep children safe from predators

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(Toledo News Now) -

A recent focus in northwest Ohio has combined the efforts of the FBI and local law enforcement to track down criminals that are targeting children.

The Child Exploitation Task Force covers 19 counties in northwest Ohio, and hunts down sex trafficking and child pornography cases. Agents say their work never ends.

"We have to be on alert all the time," said Agent David Dustin of the Toledo FBI office. "This is happening every day in our community. We need to be out there looking for these predators. We will. We'll continue to bring cases."

Their cases have included child pornography and rape charges. Agent Dustin says many suspects were involved in the sexual or physical abuse of children.

"We have seen things that no one should have to see, really," said Det. Janet Zale, a computer analyst for the task force. "Every time one of these offenders, these sex offenders or pedophiles, downloads a photo or shares it, they're victimizing the child over and over again."

That's why the task force, formed just last year, utilizes experts from local agencies to wrap up any of the roughly 30 pending child porn cases at any given time.

The effort is made to try to avoid further crimes against children.

"The bad guy we're going to get and lock up, but we spend a lot of time on the child, and getting the child in a safe place," Dustin said.

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