Unholy Act: Pastor among 30 busted in child porn ring - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Unholy Act: Pastor among 30 busted in child porn ring

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Nearly 30 people are busted in an Internet child porn sting in Cuyahoga County. Among the 27 people rounded up, a pastor from Olmsted Falls.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, along with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office, Cleveland Police Department, North Olmsted Police Department, and 13 other law enforcement partners of the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force announced Operation Lake Effect. This six month investigation into child pornography has resulted in the indictments of 27 adults and charges against 3 juveniles.

Operation Lake Effect targeted traders of child pornography across the state of Ohio. Using new technology, detectives identified IP addresses being used to trade and download child pornography pictures and videos.

From May 2010 through December 2010, 46 law enforcement officers from 17 law enforcement agencies executed 54 search warrants on homes in 22 communities throughout Cuyahoga County. Officers seized 1,821 items such as computers, CDs, cell phones, flash drives, digital cameras, and webcams. 34 additional cases have been referred to 23 law enforcement agencies outside of Cuyahoga County, including one in the state of Indiana.

Forty-eight-year-old Rev. Dr. Mark Griggs, and Pastor of Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Olmsted Falls, was charged in a 112 count indictment that includes downloading, trading, and possessing child pornography. Between July 2008 and November 2010, Griggs traded child pornography over the Internet from his house and church. He downloaded and saved images of sexually abused children to his computer that depicted children being anally, vaginally, and digitally raped.

This is the third largest investigation into traders of child pornography. In 2008 and 2009 Ohio ICAC conducted similar operations that netted a total of 91 persons charged.

Prosecutor Mason started the Ohio ICAC Task Force in 2000 in Northeast Ohio. At the request of the U.S. Department of Justice, he expanded it state-wide in 2003 and has served as chair of the Task Force. The Task Force now has 308 law enforcement partners across Ohio.

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