Department of Justice Awards $390,000 to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for Crimes Against Children Task Force
Las Vegas, Nev. - Clark County and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have been awarded $390,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to continue the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and Tracy A. Henke, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (OJP).
"This program has been instrumental in the development of investigative expertise for the apprehension of individuals who are exploiting minors over the Internet," said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "These grant monies assist with the sharing of information between agencies and enhance our ability to track down these sorts of offenders."
The ICAC Task Force Program was created in 1998 under the U.S. Justice Appropriations Act, which authorized $2.4 million to OJJDP to stimulate the creation of state and local law enforcement cyber units to investigate child sexual exploitation by offenders using the Internet or online communications technology. In Fiscal Year 1998, ten agencies received ICAC Task Force funding. Subsequent annual funding has allowed for the expansion of the ICAC program to grow to 45 Task Forces, including one in Clark County, Nevada.
With the Fiscal Year 2005 ICAC funding, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department plans to continue a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary response to ICAC offenses, specifically to conduct reactive and proactive ICAC investigations; develop a prevention education program; establish a case management system; develop standardized protocol for interagency referrals; and increase forensic and investigative capacity through the acquisition of specialized training and equipment. Southern Nevada's ICAC members include federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and child welfare organizations.
Distribution of child pornography has expanded exponentially with advances in computer technology and increased availability and popular use of the Internet. Southern Nevada's ICAC has been instrumental in developing cases against persons who commit child exploitation crimes. Federal laws regarding sexual exploitation include: Transporting, Receiving, Distributing, Manufacturing, or Possession of Child Pornography; Coercion and Enticement of Children for Sexual Acts; Travel With Intent to Engage in Sex With a Minor; Child Prostitution; and Child-Sex Tourism. Between January 2000 and April 2005, 108 individuals have been charged with federal child pornography-type offenses in the District of Nevada. Persons prosecuted include Stuart Romm, sentenced on November 22, 2004, to a minimum mandatory 180 months in prison and lifetime supervised release for his jury convictions on Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography; Kevin Eric Curtain, sentenced on October 25, 2004, to five years in prison for his jury convictions on Travel with Intent to Engage in a Sexual Act With a Juvenile and Coercion and Enticement of a Minor; and Mark Raffensparger, sentenced on October 12, 2004, to 41 months in prison and lifetime supervised release for his guilty plea to Possession of Child Pornography.