Porn probe underway | ParkRecord.com

Porn probe underway

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Detectives are investigating three cases related to people in western Summit County suspected of downloading child pornography onto their computers.

"Internet crimes against children are a terrible thing and we want people to understand that it is a terrible thing and we are actively investigating it," Summit County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ron Bridge said. "[The cases] were referred through the Utah Attorney General’s Office They are located through IP addresses and they are forwarded to the proper jurisdiction."

Bridge, who heads the county’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, warns those considering viewing child pornography online that investigators are watching.

"Any time somebody is seeking out young children is when it becomes a crime, prepubescent children and anybody under the age of 18 engaging in sexual activity is against the law," Bridge said. "It’s against the law to view it, possess it, manufacture it or distribute it."

There are tens of thousands of pornography Web sites, he warned.

"It would be impossible for one investigator to peruse all of those every day to make sure that there are no illegal activities," Bridge said. "Through the Internet there are paid sites and there are also places to download videos. If there is a child pornography Web site that is depicting children engaged in sexual activity it’s actually closed very, very quickly."

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Bridge declined to comment about suspects in the cases.

"I won’t comment on that until there are former charges filed," Bridge said, adding that the suspects are not connected.