LAS VEGAS—Dozens of child predators are off the streets thanks to a major, six-month bust.
Operation Protect the Powerless led to the conviction of 219 people, the recovery of 500,000 images of child rape or pornography and more than 2,700 videos, said Daniel Bogden, U.S. Attorney for Nevada.
The sting spanned from June to December of last year and involved multiple law enforcement agencies across Southern Nevada.
“If you are committing this crime in Nevada, you have federal, state and local law enforcement looking out for you,” Bogden said.
The bust targeted suspected child traffickers, photographers and molesters. The predators were prosecuted at the state or federal level.
“There are a lot of sex offenders and predators out there and this is a crime that’s often not reported,” said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.
Wolfson said Las Vegas draws a lot of visitors, including criminals who prey on children. He wants victims to know there are resources to help them.
“We need to get the message out to the victims that they should come forward,” Wolfson said.
The operation is part of Project Safe Childhood Task Force.
After the announcement, a mother spoke about the pain after her son was exploited by a child photographer in 2012. She did not want to share her identity to protect her son.
“I don’t trust people anymore,” the mother said.
She also had a tough message for other child predators.
“We’re gonna come for you and we’re going to find you.”
Our news partners at Channel 13 Action News contributed to this story.