How detectives work on online sex crime sting operations

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RUPERT, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Over the weekend, four men were arrested in an online sex crime sting operation and KMVT spoke to the Rupert Police Department on what some of the procedures and misconceptions are.

Det. Sam Kuoha has been investigating internet crime for years, even hosting an internet safety class with the Minidoka County Sheriff's Office.

He said that some cases come to them in two ways, getting a tip or starting a cold investigation.

"We actually start an investigation, maybe put an ad out there or social media pretending to be a child online and then the individuals are attracted to that," he explained.

The length of each case can vary. He said he's worked some cases where they were done with the case in one to two hours, and others could take months.

"It just entirely depends on the aggressiveness of the person, what they are willing to do or what avenues they take in order to pursue a child," he said.

He said for their police department, they saw there was a need for it as more people continued to use the internet. Those interested do have to do training, he said, through the Attorney General's Office.

He said investigators aren't online trying to pursue someone that is not inclined to commit these crimes either, but there are people out there who might have those intentions.

"It’s so easy for a child to be coerced, manipulated into doing things that they’re not supposed to be doing, whether it's from a child their own age or younger, to an adult, male or female online," he said. "It’s just very, very easy to do."

Kuoha said it's the parents responsibility to be part of their children s' lives to help prevent a bad outcome from an online sexual predator.

"It takes a community to raise a child, it really does," he said. "And we need to understand that. We need to get back to the days where we're able to be parents and be families and set rules and regulations and teach children to do what they're supposed to do online plus have the ability to govern those rules we've set place."

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