July | August 2019

Nearly 1,700 Suspected Child Sex Predators Arrested During Operation Broken Heart

Internet crimes against children task force program logoOn June 11, 2019, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Edward O’Callaghan announced that Operation Broken Heart led to the arrest of almost 1,700 suspected online child sex offenders.

The OJJDP-funded Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces conducted this operation during the months of April and May 2019 as a coordinated investigation to identify and arrest suspected online child sex offenders. Mr. O’Callaghan made the announcement at the National Law Enforcement Training on Child Exploitation.

“The results of Operation Broken Heart demonstrate what is possible when law enforcement agencies at every level come together to solve complex cases and bring criminals to justice,” said Mr. O’Callaghan.

The operation targeted suspects who produce, distribute, receive, and possess child pornography; engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; engage in the sex trafficking of children; and travel across state lines or to foreign countries to sexually abuse children.

During this operation, the task forces investigated more than 18,500 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes targeting children and delivered more than 2,150 presentations on Internet safety to more than 201,000 youth and adults.

OJJDP launched the ICAC Task Force program in 1998 to help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to individuals who use the Internet, online communication systems, or computer technology to exploit children. The work of the task forces encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, and community education.

The 61 ICAC task forces are located in all 50 states and comprise more than 4,500 federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. To date, ICAC task forces have reviewed more than 922,000 complaints of child exploitation, which have resulted in the arrest of more than 95,500 individuals. In addition, since the ICAC program's inception, more than 708,500 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and other professionals have been trained on techniques to investigate and prosecute ICAC-related cases.

National Law Enforcement Training Held in Atlanta, GA

On June 11–13, 2019, OJJDP and its federal partners convened the National Law Enforcement Training on Child Exploitation in Atlanta, GA. The Office of Justice Programs and OJJDP have coordinated this specialized training for more than a decade to expand the knowledge base of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement professionals involved in investigating or prosecuting technology-facilitated crimes against children. More than 1,600 investigators, prosecutors, and digital forensic examiners attended the training, which featured more than 100 lectures and informational sessions and 45 hands-on computer workshops.

In his opening remarks, then-Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth recognized one of the training participants, Darian Dasko. As a deputy with the Las Animas County, CO, Sheriff’s Department, Officer Dasko was part of a team of federal, state, and local officers who tracked down a child abductor across several states and safely recovered two young girls. Dasko arrested the suspect on May 21, 2019, and he was sentenced to life in federal prison. “It’s professionals like Officer Dasko who form the backbone of our response to child endangerment,” said Mr. Dummermuth.

OJJDP leadership and staff attending the training included Administrator Caren Harp, Deputy Administrator Chyrl Jones, Associate Administrator James Antal, Deputy Associate Administrators Jeffrey Gersh and Jacqueline O’Reilly, and ICAC Program Manager Lou Ann Holland.


Read the Department of Justice press release on the results of Operation Broken Heart. For state-level Operation Broken Heart results, contact the appropriate state ICAC task force commander; contact information for task force commanders is available online.

To learn more about OJJDP’s ICAC Task Force program, visit the Office’s website.