The New Brunswick RCMP's Internet Child Exploitation Unit and Technological Crime Unit, with the support of several other police forces, have executed seven search warrants in support of Operation Snapshot III, a national initiative targeting child sex offenders who collect, possess, share, make available, distribute and produce child sexual exploitation material online. The operation was coordinated by the RCMP's National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC).
"Out of the seven files we are investigating in New Brunswick as part of Operation Snapshot III, two people have been charged with multiple child sexual abuse offences and one child has been rescued from an alleged abusive situation," says Insp. Kevin Leahy, the RCMP Officer in charge of the New Brunswick Internet Child Exploitation Unit. "With every investigation and seizure of child sexual abuse images, we are attempting to prevent numerous children from becoming victims in the future. The investigations in New Brunswick are continuing with the potential for many more charges."
The following are the investigations that were part of Operation Snapshot III in New Brunswick:
• January 24, 2014 - a search warrant executed at a residence in Bouctouche resulted in the arrest of 28-year-old Paul LeBlanc of Bouctouche. LeBlanc was charged with accessing child pornography and making child pornography available. He will return to Moncton Provincial Court on June 25 to enter a plea.
• February 20, 2014 - a search warrant executed at a residence in Saint John resulted in the seizure of computer equipment. 35-year-old Mario Lucero, of Saint John, was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography available. Lucero is scheduled to appear back in court on July 28.
• April 8, 2014 - a search warrant executed at a residence in Saint-Quentin, N.B. led to the seizure of computer equipment. The investigation is continuing and a 35-year-old man from Saint-Quentin is scheduled to appear in court on July 10.
• April 23, 2014 - a search warrant executed at a residence in Lakeville near Moncton led to the seizure of several computers and hard drives. The investigation is continuing.
• May 8, 2014 - a search warrant executed at a residence in Moncton resulted in five charges against a 33-year-old Moncton man who cannot be identified due to a court-imposed publication ban. The individual pleaded guilty to all charges. The investigation also resulted in the rescue of a 10-year-old child who is a relative of the man. It is alleged the child was the victim of abuse at the hands of this individual. The investigation is continuing and further charges are possible.
• June 4, 2014 - search warrants were executed at two residences, one in Moncton and one in Riverview, in connection with two separate investigations into child sexual abuse images. A 34-year-old man was arrested and will appear in court at a later date.
These searches were part of the ongoing effort by police to ensure a safer Internet for our children.