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Cook County deputies announce 10 arrests in connection with sex trafficking, child pornography



COOK COUNTY, Ill. — Almost a dozen arrests have been made in connection with sex trafficking, prostitution and child pornography according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department. Now authorities say they are hoping that several websites will begin working with the department to help curb the problem.

“The past two weeks has been, in one respect, very successful for the sheriff’s office in our arrest of a lot of different people,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said during a press conference on Monday.

Dart announced the successful stretch for the department during the press conference adding that 10 arrests have been made in the last two weeks.

“Just in the last two weeks, on the 6th we arrested four individuals for operating a brothel and trafficking in persons,” Dart said.

Counseling services have been made available to all of the victims involved.

“Also on the 6th, we arrested one individual for involuntary servitude and promoting prostitution using the site List Crawler,” Dart said.

“List Crawler” and “Mega Personals” were the two most prominent websites from which deputies say those arrests stemmed. Now Dart says he wants those sites to help law enforcement.

“We are sending out a letter to these different sites, much as I have done in the past, and say ‘Listen, will you work with us?’” Dart said.

According to Dart, the letters will ask the website administrators to take measures to curb illegal activities, like adding filters, hiring more staff to screen users, and, in some cases, forwarding relevant information to authorities.

But it may not be as easy as it seems. At least one of the sites is seemingly based in Romania.

“We’ll give them a reasonable period of time, work with them, give them ideas, suggestions on how to do this, and then see where they go from there,” Dart said.

According to Dart, even if a deal is struck, the internet throws fuel on the fire. So while curing the problem will likely never be possible, he said he is doing everything he can to help curb it.

“Back in 1998, there was averaging about 3,000 tips a year. To date, it is a little bit over 30 million tips that come in,” Dart said.

Currently, it is unclear when the letters will be sent out, but authorities say they will be going out soon.

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