«Broken Heart»: A U.S.A. OP against pedophiles led to 1.700 arrests in two months


In only two months, the North American Broken Heart OP led to the arrest of around 1.700 people in a country-wide, macro-operation against online pedophiles, says the Department of Justice.

Broken Heart

The OP – christened Broken Heart, taking place between April and May and led by the specialized office against Internet Crimes Against Children—was meant to detect people who produce and distribute child porn, as well as those who consume this type of material, either just by watching it or downloading it.

The OP also targeted pedophiles and people involved in the sexual traffic of minors, who travel the country and foreign lands to sexually abuse children, said the office.

For attorney general Bill Barr, these types of crimes are the most repugnant and victimize the most vulnerable part of the population, which also happens to be the most innocent one. The office’s criteria is that the entire weight of the law should be employed against sexual predators.

The Internet Crimes Against Children’s office (ICAC), the one behind this OP, was founded in 1998. It has a record of 95.000 arrests, for an average of 13 per day. The sentences given to these kinds of crimes in the U.S.A. are generally very strong.

Pedophiles receive between 6 to 20 years behind bars for enticing minors to produce child porn, exploiting a minor or simply possessing these types of images in their electronic devices.

Child porn is considered a profitable business, which has made us witness an epidemic of child exploitation from all social levels, as Ryan Spradlin, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation, says. Afterwards, he added that parental guidance is key, as parents can help children identify the dangers of online predators, become aware and protect themselves.

How is pedophilia discovered online?

Recently, a child porn production and distribution network was discovered in Argentina, thanks to the group effort of several countries’ specialized offices and after an alarm was rang at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Victims (NCMEC).

The center is allied with the United States’ security forces and the most important internet companies in order to monitor the contents shared on the web and thus detect potential situations of child abuse. Thanks to an agreement between Argentina’s prosecutor’s office and this non-profit organization, the foremost receives reports divided in four different categories:

  • A child is detected as being abused in a live video.
  • A minor is noticed to belong to a familiar environment and all the porn involves him or her.
  • When the photographs are of an amateur nature, but familiarity is noted between the child and the pedophile.
  • When internet providers provide reports that do not include the country of origin.

To detect child porn, A.I. software is used to analyze great amounts of data. Important companies can track information on the daily, turning the files into 20-character alphanumerical codes. The moment someone copies or spreads this material, a bell is rang.

The OP took place with the support of the Brazilian and Argentinian governments alongside North America’s Homeland Security, with the help of NCMEC in order to dissolve a pedophile ring in Argentina.