Twenty-six Albertans are facing a slew of charges in connection to a provincewide investigation into online child sex exploitation.
According to police, the charges are in connection to a probe between June 20 and Sept. 17 by ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation unit.
The 26 people, ranging in age from 16 to 61, face a total of 63 charges.
In a statement Wednesday (Sept. 30), police said most of the arrests stemmed from referrals made by the RCMP National Child Exploitation Crime Centre, which works with internet and social media providers to track and investigate online instances of child sexual exploitation.
There is no definitive link between the suspects other than the nature of offences allegedly committed, police said. Each of the suspects was charged with at least one child pornography offence.
“The internet isn’t anonymous and these arrests demonstrate ALERT’s willingness to travel to all corners of the province to make arrests, put predators behind bars, and keep kids safe,” said Supt. Dwayne Lakusta.
The 26 people facing charges are:
- a 16-year-old young offender from Sherwood Park
- Kevin Borchert, a 29-year-old man from Sherwood Park
- David Cadieux, a 27-year-old man from Calgary
- Joseph Cadrain, a 32-year-old man from Strathmore
- Gary Campbell, a 28-year-old man from Lamont
- Michael Ciesla, a 32-year-old man from Edmonton
- Michael Courtepatte, a 44-year-old man from Athabasca
- Victor Delage, a 29-year-old man from Wainright
- Gerald Donel, a 57-year-old man from Edmonton
- Brian Farris, a 40-year-old man from Grande Prairie
- Humberto Ferreyra, a 51-year-old man from Lake Louise
- Coby Franz, a 42-year-old man from Alder Flats
- Sean Giles, a 41-year-old man from Lethbridge
- Brock Hann, a 21-year-old man from Morinville
- Richard Lepchuk, a 59-year-old man from Edmonton
- Christian Meier, a 52-year-old man from Calgary
- Troy Melnyk, a 49-year-old man from Spruce Grove
- Stephen Miehe, a 28-year-old man from Cardston
- Alasdair Mills, a 61-year-old man from Edmonton
- David Peeke, a 45-year-old man from Edmonton
- Christopher Piers-Hanley, a 31-year-old man from Edmonton
- Kalon Specht, a 30-year-old man from Edmonton
- Andrew Stredick, a 30-year-old man from Calgary
- Charles Tadashore, a 43-year-old man from Calgary
- Laurence Thrasher, a 40-year-old man from Edmonton
- Michael Vandermay, a 52-year-old man from Calgary
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