On February 10 the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Hawkesbury executed a search warrant in conjunction with the Child Sexual Exploitation Unit and the Digital Forensics unit. Officers seized a quantity of suspected drugs and electronic devices, and as a result, they arrested 35-year-old Andrew Smith.
Following the investigation, Smith was charged with possession of child pornography, failure to comply with a release order, possession of a schedule III substance, and three counts of possession of a schedule I substance. He will remain in custody following a bail hearing and was scheduled to appear in L’Orignal court on February 14.
The OPP urge parents to take a proactive approach by speaking with their children regarding Internet safety and online exploitation. Crime Stoppers and Cybertip host resources to assist parents in educating their children, and the OPP urges anyone with information regarding a case of internet child exploitation to anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or ontariocrimestoppers.ca, or through cybertip.ca.
The OPP will continue to aggressively identify and pursue individuals who use technology to exploit children.