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Officials: Mobile lab to speed child-exploitation crackdown

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Zeus Flores, right, a digital forensic examiner for the Illinois attorney general's office and part of the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, explains to Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul the components of the newly acquired mobile forensic unit purchased with a $174,000 federal grant in this Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, photo, in Springfield, Ill. Flores says the van allows investigators to confiscate suspected computer contraband and instead of analyzing it in the alleged perpetrator's home, review it in safety and privacy with added speed and efficiency.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois and federal officials have obtained a mobile unit that they say will add speed and efficiency to digital investigations of child pornography and exploitation.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Monday unveiled the specialized van for the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Raoul’s office oversees the group. The mobile unit is funded by a $174,000 federal grant.

Raoul says the aid comes at a time when young people are spending more time online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tips about alleged exploitation received by the task force increased 118% from 2017 to 2020 and are on pace to jump another 23% this year.

 

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Associated Press

Associated Press

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