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80 people arrested in sweeping Ontario child online exploitation investigation

TORONTO — Police say they have made 80 arrests as part of a sweeping investigation in Ontario targeting the exploitation of children online.

Ontario Provincial Police says the investigation involved multiple local forces, as well as the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, and U.S. Homeland Security.

Police say the investigation involved 274 charges against 80 people, including one youth.

The charges laid include sexual assault, possession of child pornography, making child pornography, distributing child pornography and accessing child pornography.

Drug and weapons-related charges were also laid.

Police say 20 victims were identified during the investigation and referred to community-based resources for assistance.

The investigation also allowed police to secure the safety of nine people who had been working in the sex trade industry as minors or against their will.

The Canadian Press

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