The State Police Computer Crimes Unit has charged 12 people, so far, as part of an ongoing national effort battling crimes against children.

Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says the two-month operation, called 'Operation Broken Heart III' was coordinated through the U.S. Department of Justice.

During the months of April and May, Maine State Police conducted 35 search warrants and follow-up investigations which resulted in 12 arrests or indictments. The communities involved were Lewiston, Brewer, Lisbon, Portland, Greenville, Greene, Addison, Gardiner, and Carthage. The latest investigation involved 53-year-old Glenn Strout of Portland, who was indicted on 110 counts of child pornography-related charges.

The Computer Crimes Unit is always very busy with investigations, and Lieutenant Glenn Lang says 'Operation Broken Heart III' just added to that backlog. He says he was impressed, however, with the dedication of his investigators and staff during the nationwide investigation, adding that they remain "dedicated to protect children from those who prey upon them."

Operation Broken Heart III targeted offenders who: possess, manufacture, and distribute child pornography; engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; engage in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (child prostitution); and engage in child sex tourism (traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing foreign children). 61 coordinated task forces through the nation made arrests, then collected and shared information with the Washington D.C. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.