(BOISE) – Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced the results of a joint operation that targeted child sexual abuse in northern Idaho over the weekend. The project, titled Operation Lonely Heart, was a cooperative effort between federal, state and local agencies. The Department of Homeland Security led the operation with assistance from the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit.
The Friday and Saturday project resulted in the arrests of five people. Three are Washington residents while two are from Idaho. All five were booked into the Kootenai County Jail.
“It’s a sad reality that this type of crime exists,” Wasden said. “But thanks to law enforcement’s cooperative efforts, we are able to push back against sexual predators who wish to victimize young people. Children in the region are safer today as a result of Operation Lonely Heart,” Wasden said.
Thomas R. Cartwright, 54, of Post Falls, Idaho, was arrested Friday and charged with enticing a child through use of the internet or other communication device.
Carl E. Ness, 54, of Spokane, was arrested Saturday and charged with enticing a child through use of the internet or other communication device.
Kilian J. Hoyne, 20, of Spokane Valley, Washington, was arrested Saturday and charged with enticing a child through use of the internet or other communication device.
Tyrel M. Clark, 37, of Spokane, was arrested and charged with enticing a child through use of the internet or other communication device.
Richard Peterson, 24, of Rathdrum, Idaho was arrested Saturday and charged with enticing a child through use of the internet or other communication device.
More than 60 police officers, investigators and federal agents were part of the operation. The Post Falls Police Department hosted the project. Participating agencies also included the Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho, Washington State Patrol, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Coeur d’Alene Police Department, FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Anyone with information regarding the exploitation of children is encouraged to contact local police, the Attorney General’s ICAC Unit at 208-334-4527, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.
The Attorney General’s ICAC Unit works with the Idaho ICAC Task Force, a coalition of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, to investigate and prosecute individuals who use the internet to criminally exploit children.