Gull Island man facing charges
One of 22 arrested for alleged child pornography offences
Residents from the North Shore of Conception Bay and surrounding areas were expressing shock and disbelief last week after hearing a local resident is one of 22 men from Atlantic Canada arrested and charged with child pornography related offences.
The arrests followed a sweeping investigation RCMP officials are calling Operation Snapshot II.
Kyle Clarke of Gull Island, who turns 28 on July 2, was detained after a search warrant was executed on a residence in the town, leading to charges of possessing child pornography, making child pornography available and accessing child pornography.
Clarke appeared in Harbour Grace provincial court on June 20 and was released on recognizance to appear back in court Sept. 4.
Operation Snapshot II has been in the works since April, and has resulted in some unnerving discoveries, including 3,000 DVDs, 72 external hard drives and millions of photos being seized after search warrants were given in each case, officials with the RCMP confirm.
The investigation is going to take a significant amount of time since officers will have to sift through each individual photo to track down, and hopefully protect, those children affected by these crimes.
It was announced June 26 that nine men from this province were arrested in the investigation, including an unnamed 55-year-old from the Gander area who has also been charged with eight counts of voyeurism and one count of making child pornography.
Many of those arrested have no previous convictions and are not on the national sex-offender registry. RCMP say 64-charges have already been laid.
RCMP Insp. Jeff Thompson, the lead investigator, said there is no “ring” of activity, and a connection may only be determined through examining the evidence seized during the home searches.
RCMP said two children have been “saved from harm” during this investigation, one from Newfoundland.
It was spearheaded by the Canada Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in Ottawa, which is in partnership with several international organizations, including Interpol in Europe and the FBI in the United States. RCMP officials have said they hope they can help track down the other children affected from those areas.
The investigation was done in partnership with the RCMP and RNC in this province, as well as other police forces across Atlantic Canada.
Thompson said technology is key to keeping up with the online predators, but would not disclose any details on the sensitive subject.
Unfortunately, the pornographic mate- rial in question can be easily found on the Internet, he continued.
Others arrested from this province are Declan Chaisson (Mainland), Theodore Alexander Lush (Triton), Richard Moore (Harbour Breton), Robert David Butler (St. John’s) and Kenneth Harry Bradbury (St. John’s).
The names of three accused — residents of St. John’s, Baine’s Harbour and Gander — have not been released.
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