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Cops, Rabbi Among 70 Accused in Child Porn Investigation

Child pornography has reached "epidemic proportions" one federal official said today following the indictment of 71 people that included cops, a rabbi, nurses and a Boy Scout leader.

Court documents said that some of the victims were as young as 2 years old.

"The sheer volume of confirmed and suspected instances of individuals engaging in the sexual exploitation of children identified through Operation Caireen is shocking," said Jim Hayes , special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York. "Clearly this criminal activity has reached epidemic proportions."

Authorities said that some of the suspects possessed "libraries" of photos and videos numbering "in the tens of thousands" about sexually abused children.

"It must be remembered that the images involved in these cases are of real children being sexually abused and that each time an image is viewed, traded, printed or downloaded, the child in that image is being victimized again," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Agents found the suspects on peer-to-peer file sharing networks, authorities said in a statement today. The agents seized hard drives and devices that are expected to lead to even more suspects and more charges.

The NYPD officers, including a sergeant, were arrested along with a paramedic for the New York City Fire Department. The suspects include a Brooklyn rabbi, a registered nurse who works at the Westchester County Medical Center, and a man who was both a Boy Scout den leader and a Little League coach.

The arrests represent one month's work by agents from Homeland Security Investigations, who use special filters to search file sharing networks for individuals who possess, produce or distribute sexually explicit images of children.

The arrests were carried out mainly in New York City and surrounding suburbs but are expected to lead to "hundreds" of so-called collaterals, other arrests around the country once agents track all the data from every computer hard drive seized.

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