9 Vt men arrested in child porn crackdown - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

9 Vt men arrested in child porn crackdown

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Vermont's top federal prosecutor is calling it the most gross debasement and vilest kind of violation imaginable.

"People who may be out there who are possessing child pornography or distributing or sharing it, they need to understand that their days are numbered," said Tristram Coffin, the U.S. Attorney for Vermont.

He and other law enforcement agencies have declared war. Operation Green Wave is one of the first coordinated efforts in New England to take down child pornographers. It involved 30 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and led to the arrest of nine Vermont men.

"Those arrested today come from all walks of life; one is a lawyer, another a photographer, one individual was even a voice coach at a local college," said Deputy Special Agent Matt Etre of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Investigators say these men were charged with the possession and distribution of pornographic material of prepubescent children. Although authorities would not say if any of the victims are Vermont kids, court papers show an investigator recognized one female child as a Vermonter. Authorities warn that there is a very real correlation between looking at kiddie porn and the possibility of hands-on abuse.

"This week we stopped the predators in their tracks and the security of Vermont's children is better off for it," Etre said.

"I want Vermonters to understand that this is quite simply the tip of the iceberg," said Bill Sorrell, D-Vt. Attorney General.

Authorities say the internet and file sharing has made it easier for sexual predators to exploit children. And although they called the problem "prevalent" in Vermont, they would not say how many more cases may be out there. They're also aware that publicizing this issue may force some of the predators into hiding. It's a risk they're willing to take.

"If it causes some people to get rid of what they have available for sharing than that's a good day at the office," Sorrell said.

The attorney general says Vermont has largely depended on the federal authorities to investigate and prosecute these cases. He says the state needs to step up its efforts. Those additional resources will come with a $200,000 price tag. Sorrell is currently waiting for state lawmakers to approve the funds.

Operation Green Wave suspects:

Gerald Lamb, Jr.
Age: 34
Town: Rutland, VT

Robert Williams
Age: 57
Town: Middlebury, VT

Douglas Neale
Age: 47
Burlington, VT

Daniel Marcy
Age: 48
South Burlington, VT
Occupation: Voice Coach

Joseph Cousino
Age: 60
South Burlington, VT
Occupation: Photographer

Aaron Smith
Age: 38
Essex Junction, VT
Occupation: Attorney

Robert Gray
Age: 36
Town: Northfield Falls, VT
Occupation: Convenience Store Clerk

Derek Thomas
Age: 44
Colchester, VT
Occupation: Professed Realtor

Dennis Baldwin
Age: 51
Town: Barre, VT
Occupation: Machine operator at plastic manufacturer

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