255 child predators arrested in nationwide sweep


BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) - - Two hundred and fifty-five child predators were arrested and 61 victims of child sexual exploitation were identified during a five-week operation known as Operation iGuardian.

The operation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces across the United States and its territories from May 28 to June 30.

Of those 255, four of those arrested were from New England and two of those were from Massachusetts.

Joel Van Iderstine, of Rosaline, was arrested June 13 for possession of child pornography.

Raymond Depaula, of Marblehead, was arrested also on June 13 after he was found in violation of state laws related to the production of child pornography.

During Operation iGuardian, HSI and ICAC investigators encountered various child predators chatting online with minors about sexual topics, sending them obscene images, encouraging them to produce nude or sexual photos and videos, and attempting to meet them in person to engage in sexual activity.

In some cases, child predators are also sexually extorting or "sextorting" the minors into producing additional and increasingly graphic images and videos.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.