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Crime

Operation Sweet Tooth leads to four arrests for crimes against minors

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A cyber crime operation called Operation Sweet Tooth led to four arrests for the exploitation or enticement of minors, the execution of five search warrants and multiple ongoing investigations, which may lead to additional arrests. Attorney General Lynn Fitch reported on the operation which was carried out in the week leading up to Halloween in partnership with the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office.

“My Office is committed to keeping Mississippi’s children safe from those who would harm them physically, mentally, and emotionally, and rob them of their innocence,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “I am grateful to the dedicated prosecutors and investigators of this Office and to our partners in local, state, and federal law enforcement for their work on this operation and every day to clear the Internet of child predators.”

In addition to the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office is grateful to the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia Police Department, Picayune Police Department, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Secret Service, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations for their assistance with Operation Sweet Tooth, as well.

The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office manages and operates the Mississippi Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which was created by the U.S. Department of Justice and works in cooperation with other ICAC Task Forces across the country. In Fiscal Year 2020, the MS ICAC Task Force received 1,383 CyberTips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which administers the national CyberTipline.

If you have information about a child being sexually exploited online, please report it to 1-800-843-5678. The hotline is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also make a report online at www.cybertipline.org.

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