3 face charges after cyber crime operation in Mississippi

Published 5:56 am Sunday, July 31, 2022

Three people face charges related to the sexual exploitation of children following a week-long cyber crime operation in North Mississippi, state officials said.

The joint effort, known as Operation Catfish, involved finding people online who were trying to lure children to meet for sex or ask them to produce child pornography, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in a news release Friday.

“Predators use the anonymity of the Internet to use and abuse children,” Fitch said. “My Cyber Crime Division and our law enforcement affiliates in the Mississippi Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force have the training, resources, and commitment to find them before they prey on our children. Each one of these operations helps to make the Internet a safer place for all of us.”

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More arrests are possible, Fitch said. Nine search warrants were served in support of the operation, which involved sheriff’s offices in Monroe, Montgomery and Webster counties, police departments in Starkville, Columbus, Tupelo and Mississippi State University, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, authorities said.