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7 cases of child pornography sparks Ottawa Co. investigation

Posted at 1:31 PM, Nov 21, 2016

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. -- Seven cases of computer crimes involving child pornography have been confirmed in the last four months, and investigators are now looking to crackdown and stop the abuse before it starts.

Captain Mark Bennett with the Ottawa Co. Sheriff’s Deptartment says it’s too early to tell if any of the victims from these cases are from West Michigan. However, all seven cases of child pornography are separate, each with different files being shared over the internet. Three suspects have been charged while the other four are still under investigation. If convicted, it’s a 20-year felony. The crimes happened in Spring Lake, West Olive, Holland, and Grand Haven.

“We have a combined computer forensics team here in Ottawa County,” said Captain Bennett. “Their main function is to do computer forensic type investigations from the computer side of a crime: go in there and get a search warrant, and look in devices that may be helpful.”

Bennett says tips from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children alerted the forensics team to the illegal activity.

“So that virtual investigation is really what a lot of our investigation entails today,” said Captain Bennett. “We can do search warrants for internet companies to get an IP address to see who’s associated with that IP.”

More details are still to come including the names of these suspects and the exact nature of these crimes. If you have any information, you can get in touch with police by calling 1-877-88-SILENT.