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Oklahoma Officials Propose New Bill to Fight Online Predators

In a sweep last week, Oklahoma’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC) arrested four men in northeast Oklahoma – suspected internet predators accused of trading child pornography from their computers and phones. According to Steve Tanner, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations (OSBI) lead agent for the task force, the unit was established in 2007 …

In a sweep last week, Oklahoma’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC) arrested four men in northeast Oklahoma – suspected internet predators accused of trading child pornography from their computers and phones. According to Steve Tanner, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations (OSBI) lead agent for the task force, the unit was established in 2007 and is the only one of its kind in Oklahoma. In response to claims that there are thousands more predators in Oklahoma and not enough agents to catch them, Senator Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa, is proposing a bill that would add another $10 to fines imposed on anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime in the state. If you have been charged with a sex crime in Oklahoma, contact our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers at Oklahoma Legal Center to protect your legal rights./

Arrests Made for Oklahoma Sex Crimes

If Senate Bill 879 passes, it could generate $4 million to $5 million a year to help authorities investigate child sex crimes in Oklahoma and would aid the ICAC in its hunt for online predators. According to agent Tanner, there are at least 2,000 IP addresses in Oklahoma that lead to computers that are sharing child pornography, In addition, the task force receives 1,000 cybertips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and at least 20 tips from Oklahoma residents and police every year. Offenders that have been arrested by the ICAC task force in the past have held a number of jobs in the state, ranging from former police officers to deacons and school administrators. “There is no way to put an identity on these guys,” said Jason Weis of the Demand Project.

Our Experienced Attorneys Can Help

Senate Bill 879 would add more equipment and manpower to an effort intended to wipe out anyone suspected of sexually exploiting a child in Oklahoma. “I want them to live in fear if they are exploiting children,” said Weis. “Their time has come to a close.” Oklahoma’s ICAC task force is funded in part by the Department of Justice, and the state also provides partial funding, but there are currently only three agents on the task force. There are 64 law enforcement agencies who have signed up to assist in the effort, but only five agencies who can cross jurisdiction and make arrests. The proposal to tack on additional fees for those convicted of crimes in Oklahoma is similar to a measure in Virginia called Alicia’s Law, which resulted in agents making an additional 332 arrests in the first year alone. If you have been arrested for child pornography or another serious sex crime in Oklahoma, consult our reputable defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today.

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