22 arrested, charged with sexual exploitation offences
A Springhill man is facing three charges of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography. He was arrested as part of Operation Slapshot 2.
HALIFAX – A 61-year-old Springhill man was among 22 arrested as part of an operation targeting child predators who collect, possess and distribute child exploitation material online.
Vernon Rae Sullivan is one of eight Nova Scotians arrested as part of Operation Snapshot II that included involvement from federal, provincial and municipal police agencies including RCMP and Springhill Police Services.
Springhill’s acting police chief Ken Matthews said members of the department and the Cumberland Integrated Street Crime Enforcement Unit assisted members of the Internet Child Exploitation Unit by executing a search warrant at Sullivan’s residence on June 13.
Sullivan is charged with three offences including accessing child pornography, possessing child pornography and distributing child pornography.
He was released from custody on a promise to appear and an undertaking with conditions relative to the investigation.
The operation resulted in 64 charges against suspects in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. Charges include accessing child pornography, possessing child pornography, making child pornography available, making child pornography and voyeurism.
Two children were rescued from harm.
Police also seized 43 computers and 72 external hard drives in the operation.
Operation Snapshot II began in April and focused on identifying and rescuing children who were the victims of sexual exploitation and identifying and charging high-risk offenders who collect, possess and/or distribute child exploitation material online.
Several investigations are continuing and more arrests could be made.
In October 2012 the first Operation Snapshot resulted in 30 investigations in the Prairies and up north.
Police are urging anyone wanting to learn how to protect their families from similar occurrences can go to Cybertip.ca.