Massive Child-Porn Bust Surfaces 123 Abused Kids
Operation Sunflower leads to 245 arrests
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2013 10:07 AM CST
Deputy Assistant Director Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Public Affairs Cathy Milhoan displays posters of suspects during a news conference at ICE headquarters in Washington, Thursday,...   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – A massive child-porn bust has led to 245 arrests and the identification of 123 exploited children, some as young as two, reports the Contra Costa Times. The crackdown, dubbed Operation Sunflower, began Nov. 1 and ran for five weeks, and extended to 46 states and six countries, officials revealed yesterday. Of the 123 children, 44 were living with their alleged abusers. Five of the children were three or younger, and 41 were between the ages of four and 12. California led the way with 37 arrests, and all but 23 of those arrested were in the United States, reports CNN.

"Whenever our investigations reveal the production and distribution of new child pornography online, we will do everything we can to rescue the victim and prosecute the abuser, even if takes us years or (going) around the world to do it," said ICE's director. Investigators say the are continuing to make arrests and attempting to identify further victims. The operation's name is a nod to the impressive 2011 rescue of an 11-year-old in Kansas; click for the fascinating story of how ICE agents tracked her down.

View 2 more images