State Police say their Computer Crimes Unit was involved in nearly three dozen investigations recently as part of a nationwide  effort involving Internet Crimes Against Children task forces around the county.

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The two month operation in April and May was called “ Operation Broken Heart III” and was coordinated by the U S Department of Justice.

State Police say they conducted 35 search warrants  and follow up investigations during that period which resulted in twelve arrests or indictments, and more are anticipated.  The Maine communities involved in those investigations were Lewiston, Lisbon, Brewer, Portland, Greenville, Greene, Addison, Gardiner and Carthage.   Investigators said the largest case they worked on was an investigation into a Portland man, 53 year old Glenn Strout, who was indicted recently on 110 counts of child pornography related charges.  The Computer Crimes Unit assisted Portland Police with the examination of his computers.

The head of the Maine Computer Crimes Unit, State Police Lt. Glenn Lang, said the eighteen members of his division continue to deal with a backlog of computer examinations from prior investigations and the work in April and May increased that backlog.  However Lang said, “ I was impressed by the commitment of our investigators and staffers during “ Operation Broken Heart III” and we continue to be dedicated to protect children from those who prey upon them.”

The national crackdown targeted offenders who: (1) possess, manufacture, and distribute child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (commonly referred to as child prostitution), and (4) engage in child sex tourism (traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing foreign children).  61 coordinated local task forces throughout the nation made the arrests, then collected and shared the arrest statistics with the Washington, D.C. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention