Online child pornography on the rise in the Houston area

It's now easier than ever to perform criminal acts on the internet according to law enforcement.

Officials often talk about how Houston is a mecca for sex trafficking, but now we're also learning it's a major hub for child pornography.

With countless ways to find anything and everything online, it's no wonder law enforcement officials say cyber crime is on the rise.

According to FBI officials and the FBI Violent Crimes against Children website, there are multiple ways of performing illegal acts online which lead to creating more avenues for, specifically, child pornography.

Constable Ron Hickman of Harris County Precinct 4 says the Houston area has become a targeted location for criminals to create and sell such illicit acts.

"The more people get access to some of these areas the more chat-sites, blogs, and websites are popping up, the more people are attracted to respond to those things. The numbers just keep growing higher and higher".

Newer technology offers immediate communication around the world. Officials say this provides pedophiles with an anonymous way of identifying and recruiting child victims into sexually illicit relationships. All with a few clicks of a button.

"Years ago it was desktops then it became laptops. Then it became cell phones and PDA's and tablets. So now, almost every device around you is capable of snapping an image, then transferring that image to someone else".

With more access, authorities say they constantly must ramp-up their efforts to catch online predators.

In Texas child pornography crimes can carry a sentence of 5 to 99 years and a fine of up to 10-thousand dollars if the child is younger that 14.


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