11 suspects have been arrested in Maryland for suspicion of being connected to child pornography, according to Fox News.
Howard County Police Chief Lisa Myers stated, “These cases are complex and require meticulous police work to identify suspects and collect evidence.”
“I want to recognize our excellent team of detectives who have worked tirelessly to execute search warrants and have had to review thousands of disturbing images and videos to bring charges against these suspects.”
The 11 individuals were arrested and found in possession of “thousands” of child porn images and recorded videos.
The 11 suspects even include three minors, a 14-year-old, a 16-year-old, and a 17-year-old.
All three minors were charged with one count of possession of child pornography.
The other 8 individuals arrested include Taylor Richard Allen, Nicholas David Gehringer, Hayk Manukyan, Parker Greer Michael Matta, Saige Noel Penrod, Anthony Joseph Ross, Tucker Nathaniel Testoff, and Jawad Hyder Wagan.
Howard County State Attorney Rich Gibson stated, “The sexual abuse of children that’s often portrayed in child pornography is one of the most unconscionable violations of trust imaginable.”
“Prosecuting the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes is one of our highest priorities, and we will work in tandem with our law enforcement partners to bring these criminals to justice.”
U.S. Marshal Johnny L. Hughes of the District of Maryland remarked, “Children are a blessing and are America’s future leaders.”
“We must always protect their innocence and defend them from physical and sexual abuse by predators and unscrupulous individuals.”
From Fox News:
Howard County police detectives, in coordination with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, have conducted 23 residential searches and seized more than 160 digital devices since July 2020.
Taylor Richard Allen, 28, of Clarksville, Maryland; 10 counts of possession of child pornography
Nicholas David Gehringer, 30, of Glenwood; nine counts of possession of child pornography
Hayk Manukyan, 21, of Laurel; three counts of distributing child pornography and four counts of possession of child pornography
Parker Greer Michael Matta, 19, of Ellicott City; one count of possession of child pornography
Saige Noel Penrod, 19, of Elkridge; five counts of possession of child pornography
Anthony Joseph Ross, 31, of Columbia; five counts of possession of child pornography
Tucker Nathaniel Testoff, 20, of Ellicott City; pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography and sentenced to five years of probation
Jawad Hyder Wagan, 33, of Columbia; four counts of possession of child pornography
14-year-old male of Laurel; one count of possession of child pornography
16-year-old male of Laurel; one count of possession of child pornography
17-year-old male of Glenelg; one count of possession of child pornography
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Maryland U.S. Marshal Service recovered 18 missing children as part of its two-month-long Operation Not Forgotten mission.
Maryland State Police reported a 67% increase in statewide tips concerning online child sex exploitation in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the Howard County Police Department.
Police are advising parents to encourage their children to be safe online using resources on NetSmartz. Anyone with information about possible child exploitation can send tips to the national center.