A Frog Lake man has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.
The ALERT Internet Child Exploitation Unit charged 31-year-old Evan Cardinal of Frog Lake, as their investigations have lead to charging 18 people province-wide for similar crimes between May 20 and June 23.
It isn’t believed that those suspects are linked.
Most of the arrests, ALERT said in a press release, came as the result of investigative referrals from the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, which works with internet and social media providers to track and investigate online instances of child sexual exploitation.
ICE received 243 reported instances of online child exploitation in Alberta in March, far exceeding the unit’s two-year average of roughly 110, believed to related to digital dependency during COVID-19.
“This is a level of activity that has been unparalleled in the existence of the ICE unit,” said Supt. Dwayne Lakusta, ALERT CEO. “ICE is working incredibly hard to put predators behind bars, but we need parents to do their part and be vigilant of their kids’ online activities.”
ICE is an integrated team that includes members of Calgary Police, Edmonton Police, Lethbridge Police, Medicine Hat Police, and RCMP.
ICE investigates offences involving child pornography, any computer-related child sexual abuse, child luring over the Internet, voyeurism involving victims under the age of 18, and child sex trade/tourism.