Burke County Sheriff’s Office clamps down on child predators

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 5:52 PM CST
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BOWBELLS, N.D. – Last week, authorities in Burke County announced they had taken five men into custody as part of an investigation into child sex crimes.

Days later, a Minot airman was placed under arrest for a series of charges involving minors.

Law enforcement across the state are continuing their mission to get child predators behind bars.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office is going undercover to take child predators off the street and more importantly off the internet through “Operation Icehouse.”

Most of the investigative work through “Operation Icehouse” is being done from a laptop.

“It was initiated because the sheriff’s office has received reports from parents that adults are soliciting minors for either explicit conversation or images of them,” said Dep. Gregory Pinsky, Investigative Officer.

Officers like Pinsky go undercover on social media outlets pretending to be underage children and have conversations with suspected predators.

The conversation progresses until the offer is made to meet in person, where the suspect is arrested upon arrival.

“I don’t think any of us thought that we’d get this many this quick. Thirteen days and we’ve apprehended five, I’d said that’s a pretty good outcome,” said Sheriff Shawn Brien.

Pinsky said suspects claimed they were coming to check on the minor or to just have a conversation.

Charges range from luring minors by computer to Dissemination of Obscene Materials.

Any parent who suspect’s their child may be involved in inappropriate online conversations with an adult are encouraged to contact the sheriff’s department at 377-2311, or contact their local authorities.

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