A four-week investigation by the Hamilton Police Service’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit has resulted in the arrests of five local men.
Cops say the probe — dubbed Project Frost Byte v3.0 — kicked off in April and focused on suspects who allegedly utilized social media platforms to share and possess horrific images and videos of child sexual abuse.
“With a large number of people being isolated at home currently, they are spending more time online,” police said in a release Thursday.
“The individuals who would be accessing and sharing child sexual abuse material now have more of an opportunity than ever. During these unprecedented times, it is essential that the police continue to aggressively pursue these individuals online who are using technology to exploit our children and share child sexual abuse and exploitation material.”
According to cops, members of the ICE and tech crime units executed eight search warrants as well as 22 other judicial orders in Hamilton.
Detectives seized 62 computers and electronic devices that contained more than 8,000 images of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
Five men, aged 18 to 41, are charged.
Police say the accused don’t appear to be known to one another and each case is a separate probe.
Steven Dickison, 41, is charged with possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography, and make available child pornography.
A male, 28, (named protected by publication ban) faces five counts of criminal harassment, possession of child pornography, and make available child pornography.
Brody Greer, 25, is charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.
Bradley Hintzsche, 18, is charged with distribution of child pornography, and a male, 34, (named protected by publication ban), is charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.
Anyone with information can provide information anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or by submitting anonymous tips online at www.crimestoppershamilton.com.