Authorities make 16 arrests in child porn ring

ATLANTA (AP) - Authorities have executed more than 40 search warrants culminating a three-month investigation into the distribution of child pornography over the Internet in Georgia.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, along with local and federal law enforcement agencies, had made 16 arrests and confiscated 60 computers by Tuesday afternoon in a sweep that began in the morning.

John Whitaker, special agent in charge of GBI's high tech crimes investigations, says the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force detected the porn distribution ring through software tools used to find Internet users who were sharing computer files. He says the computer files consisted of child pornography ranging from nude photos to graphic videos.

The task force is composed of 17 local law enforcement agencies and state and federal agencies, including the three Georgia U.S. attorney offices.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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