CRIME, POLICE + COURTS
All-Star Weekend sting operation leads to child exploitation arrests
SALT LAKE CITY — 12 people are in jail after a sting operation across the state during All-Star Weekend worked to crack down on child exploitation.
The FBI worked with police departments across the state for 10 days around All-Star Weekend. The goal of the sting operation was to find people who police say were looking to exploit kids.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill says they had undercover agents pose as children. Along with this, they also had someone pose as offering a 7-year-old girl.
According to Gill, predators see big events like All-Star Weekend as a great cover. He says they think police won’t be paying attention online.
“We wanted to make sure that opportunity was not there for them (predators),” Gill says.
Although he says they will prosecute these 12 people, for every one person police catch there are hundreds still out there.
Gill says parents need to do more to protect their kids online.
“Are you talking to your children? Are you keeping the lines of … communication open and honest,” he says. “And don’t go into the blame stuff. But really talk about opening that honest conversation, so if they (children) see something or experience something, that they’re telling you in real time.”
Devin Oldroyd contributed to this story.
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