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Missouri law enforcement increases targeting of cybercrime

It is hard to imagine a world without the Internet for many St. Louis residents who depend on online communications in their daily lives. From communicating with others, to shopping and working, and everything in between, the Internet has become a fixture for many individuals.

An entire new world of criminal charges has also opened up relating to individuals' online activity. Cybercrime charges can take multiple forms, including charges for possessing or distributing child pornography, as well as charges for soliciting minors and related activity. These charges can be very serious, as severe penalties may be enforced against those convicted of the charges.

Officials in Missouri have dramatically increased the resources they are dedicating toward prosecuting online crime. For instance, dozens of agencies, as well as a number of regional task forces, are involved in investigating and prosecuting online crimes against children.

Many task forces are funded by the United States Department of Justice, and state and local agencies often partner with federal agencies in their investigations. The result is a higher number of individuals who have been arrested on serious charges involving cybercrime over the past number of years. Indeed, with more law enforcement officers targeting online activities, the numbers of arrests and charges has increased as well.

The details involving these investigations are important for those charged with cybercrimes in order to determine whether the person has any defenses based upon the investigation. For example, it is important to know what the allegedly incriminating evidence against a person consists of, and how law enforcement tied that evidence to a particular individual online. Individuals charged with cybercrimes are entitled to discover this information so they can use it in order to prepare their defense.

Source: Missouri Sheriffs, "Cyber crime," accessed on Aug. 22, 2014

Source: Missouri Sheriffs, "Cyber crime," accessed on Aug. 22, 2014

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