The United States has arrested 1,140 people on sexual predation charges as part of a nationwide sweep to protect children, the US Justice Department says.
The arrests stemmed from a two-month operation in April and May tracking alleged offenders who used the internet to lure youths and traffic them into commercial sexual exploitation, child pornography and travelling abroad to engage in child sex tourism.
“Predators use technology in sinister and inventive ways to reach their child victims across state and national boundaries,” said Robert Listenbee, the administrator of the department’s juvenile justice and delinquency prevention program.
Those arrested were charged with a range of crimes, including stalking children on the internet for sex, and possession and distribution of child pornography.
Among the men arrested were three soldiers and a former employee of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Texas.
The arrests were part of Operation Broken Heart, which was initially launched last year and netted 275 arrests in 2014 for child sexual predation.