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HomeNewsGrande Prairie pair among 24 facing child pornography charges

Grande Prairie pair among 24 facing child pornography charges

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Two men from Grande Prairie are among 24 people facing child pornography charges after a province-wide investigation by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams Internet Child Exploitation Unit.

Mounties say the arrests were made after several referrals from the RCMP National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, an organization that works with internet and social media companies to investigate online instances of child sexual exploitation.

ICE officers arrested all 24 people between January 1st and March 31st.

48-year-old Curt Backlund and 32-year-old Stedson McDonald are both facing an unspecified child pornography offense.

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ALERT says they received a record number of referrals in 2020, with 2,100 coming into their hands in the calendar year. CEO Supt. Dwayne Lakusta says it was a 40 per cent increase year over year.

“This is a concerning consequence of our digital dependency during the pandemic,” he says. “ALERT has responded by directing more tools and resources to our ICE units and we are prepared to travel to every corner of the province to stop child sex predators.”

Suspects were also charged in Calgary, Edmonton, and Medicine Hat.

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