According to an announcement on Tuesday, nineteen individuals have been arrested and charged with 138 offenses in Australia in connection with an international child abuse network. These arrests were part of an inquiry following a fatal incident involving FBI agents in America.
Australian Federal Police Commander Helen Schneider informed media that the accused men were allegedly part of a highly technologically adept online child exploitation ring with operations spread across the nation.
Code Name Operation Bakis, a joint venture with state and territory police forces, has successfully rescued 13 Australian children from harm. Some children were direct abuse victims, while others were removed as a safety precaution. Charges have been brought against men residing in five states and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Following this operation, the FBI initiated an investigation to identify users of a peer-to-peer platform. Pedophiles allegedly utilized this platform to exchange images on the dark web.
The suspects ranged in age from 32 to 81 years old.
Authorities stated that two charged men have already been convicted and sentenced. Those found guilty will face sentences of around 15 years in the Australian Capital Territory and five years in New South Wales.
The investigation in Australia was initiated after a lethal altercation between FBI agents and an American suspect linked to this criminal network. While executing a child pornography search warrant in Florida in 2021, FBI special agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger were killed.
The suspect, 55-year-old David Lee Huber, shot and killed both agents through the door with a rifle, also injuring three others before turning the gun on himself.
Former FBI Special Agent Nicole Parker, who now writes opinions for Fox News Digital and served with the Miami Division, eulogized Alfin and Schwartzenberger, calling them the best of the FBI. She remembered Laura as a colleague and a close friend and credited both agents’ honor, dedication, and hard work.
Parker recalled how Laura’s faith helped her face the darkness of her job, adding, “These are the fine men and women that make the FBI proud.” She also expressed determination to preserve their legacy, urging the FBI to focus on such essential work amid other scandals. She stated, “I will not allow her legacy to be tainted by those ruining the entire FBI’s reputation.