Virginia Officials Announce Over 20 Online Predator Arrests

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20 arrests made in an undercover operation targeting online child predators in Virginia. (Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

20 arrests made in an undercover operation targeting online child predators in Virginia. (Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — Authorities say 20 people from across Virginia have been arrested in an undercover operation targeting online child predators.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and other officials announced the results of the operation Thursday.

Arrests were made in Bedford, Fairfax, Prince William, Virginia Beach, Richmond and Loudoun. Charges include online solicitation of a minor and distribution of child pornography.

Another 20 cases have been referred for investigation and prosecution outside of Virginia. The referrals involve cooperation among Virginia’s two Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces and similar task forces across the country, as well as law enforcement agencies in Australia and France.

The weeklong operation was conducted in 2011. Cuccinelli had just asked for more state money as recently as early February to help fight Internet sex crimes.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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