Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, along with twenty additional law enforcement partners of the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, announced the results of "Operation Rise and Shine".
The seven month investigation into online child exploitation has resulted in the indictments of twenty adult defendants and one juvenile.
Operation Rise and Shine targeted traders of child pornography across the State of Ohio. Using new technology, detectives identified IP addresses being used to trade and download child pornography pictures and videos. From March 2012 through October 2012, law enforcement officers from twenty-one law enforcement agencies executed thirty-one search warrants on homes in nineteen communities throughout Cuyahoga County.
Officers seized 2,455 items such as computers, external hard drives, thumb drives, CDs, DVDs, and other electronic storage devices. This operation also resulted in seventy-six (76) additional cases being referred to fifty-seven (57) law enforcement agencies in Ohio and one law enforcement agency in Michigan.
Michael Kleinschmidt, 51, of Cleveland, was charged in a 103 count indictment that includes downloading, trading, and possessing child pornography. Between May 2012 and August 2012, Kleinschmidt traded child pornography over the Internet from his residence. ICAC investigators identified thirty known or suspected child pornographic images or videos available for sharing.
Kleinschmidt was previously indicted and pleaded guilty in December 1992, to one count of unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance and four counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. He was sentenced in January 1993 to one and a half years in prison.
Walter Jacobsen, 46, of North Olmsted, was charged in a twenty-four count indictment that includes downloading, trading, and possessing child pornography. He is an employee of the Positive Education Program (PEP) which is designed to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children. On August 10, 2012, an investigator with the Ohio ICAC Task Force was conducting an investigation into the use of peer-to-peer file sharing programs.
While conducting the investigation, it was discovered that a computer with an IP address associated with Jacobsen's North Olmsted residence was sharing a file containing child pornography. Jacobsen continues to deny purposefully downloading child pornography and is currently on administrative leave from PEP.
Robert Holpuch, 57, of Valley View, a volleyball official for the Ohio High School Athletic Association, was charged in a four count indictment that includes attempted rape, attempted kidnapping, attempted compelling prostitution, and possessing criminal tools. On October 29, 2012, undercover ICAC investigators posted an advertisement on the Internet. Holpuch immediately responded to the ad by e-mail. After additional conversation via e-mail and text, Holpuch agreed to pay $100 to the undercover investigator to engage in sexual activity with a 12-year-old girl. After traveling to a local hotel, Holpuch was arrested and found to be in possession of $131.00 in cash, a bottle of alcohol and massage oils.
The following adult defendants were indicted in the operation:
David Chmielewski, 45, of Bay Village
Jason Duhamel, 28, of Cleveland
Peter Hale, Jr., 56, of Cleveland
Clayton Holler, Jr., 30, of Parma
Robert Holpuch, 57, of Valley View
Robert Humphrey, 64, of Shaker Heights
Walter Jacobsen, 46, of North Olmsted
Michael Kleinschmidt, 51, of Cleveland
Maher Lababidi, 33, of Lakewood
Bruce Mazur, 63, of Strongsville
Keith Marks, 56, of Cleveland
Erik Miller, 29, of Seven Hills
Robert Palmerio, 72, of Lyndhurst
Jared Recob, 24, of Cleveland
Gregory Ross, 49, of Parma
John Snider, 68, of Lakewood
Alpher Torres, 38, of Cleveland
Chad Wain, 29, of Berea
Ronald Waynerka, 55, of Parma
Patrick Ziska, 22, of Strongsville
The Northeast Ohio ICAC Task Force was created in 2000 to combat the rise of Internet crime against children. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice provided additional funding for the Task Force to expand statewide. The Task Force now has 321 law enforcement partners across Ohio. Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty is the chair of the statewide Task Force.
The following law enforcement agencies assisted in Operation Rise and Shine:
Bay Village Police Department
Berea Police Department
Brecksville Police Department
Brooklyn Heights Police Department
Cleveland Metroparks Rangers
Cleveland Police Department
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office
Cuyahoga County Sherriff's Office-Detective Bureau and Impact Unit
Euclid Police Department
Hardin County Sheriff's Office
Lakewood Police Department
Lyndhurst Police Department
North Olmsted Police Department
Parma Police Department
Seven Hills Police Department
Shaker Heights Police Department
South Euclid Police Department
Strongsville Police Department
United States Postal Inspectors
Valley View Police Department
Village of Timberlake Police Department
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