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Federal grant awarded to fight internet crimes against kids

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A $346,984 grant was announced Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs to a Montana task force that investigates internet crimes against children and the exploitation of children.

U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said the grant for the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force from the Office of Justice Program’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will aid the task force in preventing, investigating and prosecuting internet crimes against children and technology-related child exploitation.

The grant, awarded to the Montana Department of Justice, which administers the funding, is among nearly $105 million in awards announced earlier this month to protect children from exploitation, trauma and abuse, and to fund improvements in the judicial system’s handling of child abuse and neglect cases.

“This program was created to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by enhancing investigations of those who use technology, like the internet and social media, to sexually exploit and harm children through child pornography, coercion and trafficking activities,” Laslovich said in a news release.

Grants are being distributed to local, state and tribal jurisdictions throughout the United States, the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia to support child protection efforts.

The ICAC Task Force’s primary goal is to increase detection, investigation, apprehension and prosecution of electronic technology-aided crimes against children.

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