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Posted: March 4, 2009 12:00 a.m.

NCSO helps nab internet predator in Alaska

Man arrested for child pornography

An Alaskan man was arrested on various sexual charges after reportedly chatting with a Newton County Sheriff's Office investigator that he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

According to a press release by the NCSO, 55-year-old Karl Cox of Ketchikan, Alaska contacted the undercover investigator on a chat room and over a period of time sent "graphic sexual content" of himself as well as images of child pornography to the investigator. The NCSO notified the Alaska Bureau of Investigation on Feb. 24 and, due to the nature of the crime and findings of the investigation, federal charges were taken out on Cox as well.

On Feb. 24, investigators with ICE, Alaska Bureau of Investigation and the Alaska Police Department traveled to Ketchikan and served a search warrant on Cox's residence the next day. Cox was arrested on federal charges related to possession and distribution of child pornography. The investigation remains ongoing and charges are pending against Cox in Newton County as well.

"This was a joint ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force) investigation in which Newton County Sheriff's Office is a part of," reads the NCSO statement. "We would like to thank the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, ICE unit, Ketchikan AST, Ketchikan PD and Anchorage Police Department for their speedy response efforts which led to a secure arrest of what could potentially be a child predator."

Due to an increase in crimes against children on the Internet, the NCSO would like to extend the opportunity for parents to take part in a "Cybersafety" presentation.

"In today's society our children are accessing the computer at a much younger age," reads the release. "With technology increasing our children are using these items more and more."

The presentation offers advice on how to keep children safe online. It covers topics such as pedophiles, cyber bullying, the virtual world and identity theft. Suggestions, as well as tools and strategies for staying safe online will be offered at the presentation.

The NCSO also has trained personnel who can give "Interactive Internet Safety Presentations" to schools with children as young as kindergarten and as old as high school-aged. Presentations are geared toward age groups and offers animated characters for elementary and real-life stories for middle and high school students.

Those interested in presentations should contact investigator Sharron Stewart at (678) 625-1406.

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