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West Virginia and federal law enforcement urges awareness, action against child exploitation online

By LACIE PIERSON

Charleston Gazette-Mail

Flanked by law enforcement officials from West Virginia State Police and the FBI, U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart (center) discusses efforts to combat child exploitation during a news conference Thursday morning in Charleston.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Craig Hudson)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Federal and state investigators and court officials want parents to be sure they’re alert to potential risks for their children, young and old, online.

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart hosted a news conference Thursday morning with officials from the FBI and West Virginia State Police to discuss their efforts to fight child exploitation, as well as what parents and guardians can do at home to prevent or deal with child exploitation.

Stuart’s office and the law enforcement agencies have formed the West Virginia Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, the efforts of which have led to 19 arrests, 27 executed search warrants, nine convictions plus 10 indictments, three of which are pending, all in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia, Stuart said.

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