UPDATED: Nine arrested in N.L. child exploitation investigation

Child in province one of two rescued in Atlantic Canada through Operation Snapshot II

Published on June 26, 2013
RCMP Insp. Jeff Thompson (left) and RNC Deputy Chief Bill Janes speak to reporters about an investigation targeting online predators of children. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

An investigation targeting online predators has resulted in the arrest of nine people in Newfoundland and Labrador.

All men, ranging in age from 22 to 55, were arrested as part of Operation Snapshot II. The investigation focused on Atlantic Canada and involved police forces from across the region, including local RCMP officers and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

A total of 22 people from throughout the region were arrested, resulting in a total of 64 charges that are either laid or pending. Two children were rescued as a result of the investigation, including one in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The identities of three of the accused have not been released. They include a 31-year-old from St. John's, a 55-year-old from Gander, and a 34-year-old from Baine Harbour.

Also arrested were Decian Chaisson,  43, of Mainland; Theodore Alexander Lush, 25, of Triton; Richard Moore, 46, of Harbour Breton; Kyle Clarke, 27, of Gull Island; Robert David Butler, 22, of St. John's; and Kenneth Harry Bradbury, 26, of St. John's.

RNC Deputy Chief Bill Janes called the online exploitation of children a borderless crime.

Insp. Jeff Thompson of the RCMP would not speculate on whether the fact nine of the 22 arrests were made in Newfoundland and Labrador indicates there is more of an issue with online child exploitation in the province.

The Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children also assisted with the investigation, which has been ongoing since April.

For more on this story, read Thursday's edition of The Telegram.

Information in this story has been edited to include additional details.