Local

Jan 4, 2013 10:10 PM by Robby Messer

Child porn suspect arrested

TUCSON - Federal agents arrest a Tucson man wanted in connection with a nationwide crackdown on child pornography.

43-year-old Lance Robert Fries was taken into custody at his attorney's North Tucson office without incident about 1:45 p.m. Friday by ICE agents. He faces potential federal charges of production of child pornography and is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court Monday.

Fries' arrest came after the release of photographs Thursday of an unidentified man sought in connection with a child pornography case that involved the sexual exploitation of a pre-pubescent boy by an adult male. At approximately 11:15 p.m. Thursday, Homeland Security Investigations special agents received a call to the ICE Tip Line regarding the suspect's possible identity.

Investigators identified the victim and confirm that the boy is now safe.

"This is truly a remarkable turn of events and it again demonstrates the collective power that can be brought to bear when law enforcement and the public team up to combat the sexual exploitation of children," said ICE Director John Morton. "Those who produce and trade child pornography over the Internet believe they're protected by the anonymity of cyberspace. Through our collective efforts, we're proving these predators wrong and gaining justice for their innocent victims."

The announcement of the unsolved case was made in connection with HSI's Operation Sunflower, a recently concluded enforcement action aimed at rescuing victims and targeting individuals who own, trade and produce child pornography. Operation Sunflower was conducted as part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers.

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