UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE
INTERNATIONAL CHILD EXPLOITATION INVESTIGATION
On Thursday, November 14, 2013, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Toronto Police Service announced the conclusion of Operation Spade, a three-year international investigation involving the production and sale of child exploitation material.
The investigation began in October 2010, when Toronto police contacted the Postal Inspection Service after identifying an online company, Azoz Films, selling videos of child exploitation through the U.S. Mail.
Information gathered by the Postal Inspection Service was provided to the Toronto Police Service and, on May 1, 2011, the company was shut down.
Postal Inspectors worked with the Department of Justice's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section to identify U.S. customers. During the investigation, Inspectors executed 76 arrests involving customers of Azoz Films. Prosecutive action is pending for an additional 74 suspects in the United States.
The investigation spanned all segments of society, including school employees, attorneys, law enforcement officials, and registered sex offenders. The success of the operation was measured by the ability to identify individuals who posed an immediate risk to children.
In addition to the 76 arrests in the U.S., 263 overseas suspects were arrested. Prosecutive actions are anticipated internationally as well.
As a result of the investigation, the Postal Inspection Service was able to identify 386 children who were victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
The Postal Inspection Service would like to thank all of its international partners, whose hard work and dedication to this investigation was a direct contribution to its success.
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U.S. Postal Inspection Service: The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is one of the oldest federal law enforcement
agencies in the country. For more than 200 years, Postal Inspectors have protected
the U.S. Postal Service, secured the nation’s mail system and ensured
public trust in the mail. postalinspectors.uspis.gov