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5 people from Waterloo region charged in province-wide child exploitation investigation


Police have charged 107 people after a massive month-long child exploitation investigation spanning the entire province.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say Project Maverick focused on internet crimes and resulted in 428 charges, including possession and access of child pornography, making child pornography, luring and voyeurism.

“This is a snapshot of one month out of the year to show that everyone has a role to play when it comes to protecting our children,” OPP Detective Insp. Jordan Whitesell said in a video produced by OPP. “If you are watching this and you have information about a child being abused online, take this as a sign to report it to police or You can make a difference.”

The investigations happened in October and were a collaborative effort led by OPP involving 27 police agencies throughout Ontario.

“The things that we see with child sexual abuse material is jurisdiction doesn’t matter, and so we really need to access one another’s resources to deal with the really highly mobile nature of this crime,” Whitesell told CTV News.


Among the over 100 people charged are four from Cambridge, two from Woodstock and one each from Kitchener and Guelph.

Waterloo regional police say they completed seven search warrants and arrested four men and one woman as part of Project Maverick. Local investigators also gathered information that led to the arrest of a man in the United Kingdom.

Across the province, OPP say 61 victims were identified, and another 60 children were safeguarded.

In Waterloo region, Waterloo regional police Sgt. Brian Duyn said police “know of four child victims and at least another three who were living with offenders.”

Ontario Provincial Police say there are 175 ongoing investigations where additional charges may be laid. As for Waterloo regional police, they say they’ll continue to crack down on predators and have over 400 files pending.

“[It’s] overwhelming, the number of cases,” Duyn said. Top Stories

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