US Legal – Cybercrime Unit Comes To South Florida

~ Third office location brings additional resources to combat internet
child predators ~

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – Citing the need for a statewide approach toward
fighting the escalation of predatory crimes against children, Attorney
General Bill McCollum today opened his CyberCrime Unit’s third office in
Ft. Lauderdale. The new office follows the openings of the unit’s
headquarters in Jacksonville and branch office in Orlando last fall. The
Attorney General was joined at the opening by members of South Florida’s
law enforcement community and local and state government officials.

“Our South Florida CyberCrime Unit continues our effort to make our
state the most aggressive in the nation for tracking down and locking up
online child predators,” said Attorney General McCollum. “There is no
mission more important than protecting Florida’s children, and I am proud
of the dedication and determination shown by our team and those who support
its efforts to find and prosecute these criminals.”

Last year, the Florida Legislature recognized the need for the
CyberCrime Unit’s efforts to cover the entire state and provided the
resources to expand statewide. The expansion provides essential resources
to local, state and federal authorities to investigate, arrest and
prosecute internet predators and child pornographers. The Fort Lauderdale
office will house three law enforcement officers and two victim advocates,
as well as a specialized attorney in the near future.

“This new location will help all the agencies targeting cybercrime to
be even more effective,” said Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti. “It’s
another example of our commitment on the state, county and municipal level
to combat the sexual predators who live to exploit our children.”

“As a parent, I know that the scariest thing you can imagine is that
someone would hurt your child,” said House Majority Whip Ellyn Bogdanoff,
(R) Fort Lauderdale. “These predators are moving online as a new way to
enter our homes and lure our children into unthinkable situations. I am
proud to partner with Attorney General McCollum and law enforcement in
making sure we hunt these monsters down and put them away.”

“With the creation of the cybercrime unit in Ft. Lauderdale, law
enforcement will have the much-needed resources necessary to investigate
and prosecute these crimes against children,” said Rep. Ari Porth, (D)
Coral Springs, who attended the opening. “Predators who have targeted
youth online need to be weeded out and brought to justice.”

Based on the number of complaints that pour into the National Center
for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s CyberTipline, internet crimes
against children are not slowing down. Last week, the number of children
reporting online solicitations more than tripled to 731 reported incidents,
up from 233 reports two weeks ago. Last week alone, the Child Victim
Identification Program at NCMEC reviewed over 100,000 images of child
pornography in an effort to identify and rescue the children being abused
in the photos. From those 100,000 images, six children were identified and
rescued. Unfortunately, they join a list of more than 1,300 children who
will live the rest of their lives knowing that the images of their sexual
abuse are on the internet. More than 30 of those children are Florida

Additional CyberCrime Units will open in Tampa and Pensacola this
spring. Originally established in 2005, the unit has been responsible for
the arrests of more than 60 individuals who possessed, created or
distributed child pornography or who sexually solicited someone they
thought was a child online.

Scroll to Top