A national task force that was given the mission of cracking down on child predators has arrested 238 people in Southern California during a two-month sting, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
During April and May, the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force launched "Operation Broken Heart III," according to the LAPD.
The Los Angeles Regional ICAC operation resulted in the arrest of 238 child predators. The national crackdown on cyber predators resulted in 1,368 arrests, just during the months of April and May, an LAPD spokesperson told ABC News today.
"The perpetrators in these cases include entertainers, community leaders, white collar professionals and even members of the clergy," John Reynolds, Homeland Security Investigations Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge, said in a news conference on Monday.
People were arrested in the crackdown "for charges such as possession and distribution of child pornography, sexual exploitation of children, child prostitution and sex tourism," LAPD Deputy Chief Matt Blake said at the news conference.
Among those arrested was a 70-year-old British man who had previously been charged with coming to U.S. to have sex with pre-teen boys, and now faces child pornography offenses, the Department of Homeland Security said in astatement.
A Laotian monk, in the U.S. with a religious workers visa, was also arrested at the Wat Lao Buddhist Monastery in Riverside, California, for allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography, according to the Riverside District Attorney's Office.
Norma Eisenman, a public information officer for the LAPD, told ABC News today it is important for parents to "monitor your kids' use of the computer" and "make sure you check their phones," as that is how many of these criminals prey on kids.
"A lot of these people camouflage themselves as someone else," Eisenman said. "They get their confidence and then they start requesting nude pictures."
"My motto to my daughters is, 'I pay the bill, I have the right to your passwords,'" Eisenman said.