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Florida authorities successful with catching child porn predators

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A 51-year-old Leesburg man received national attention last week after authorities found he had between 500,000 and 1 million child pornography videos.

Florida authorities are being recognized for a job well done for arresting John Edward Shearen on 15 counts of possession of child pornography and 15 counts of distribution of child pornography.

Michelle Collins, vice president of the Exploited Child Division at National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said Florida is successfully identifying predators and putting them behind bars.

“Law enforcement, particularly in Florida, are doing a remarkable job of identifying individuals who are trading this type of illegal material,” she said.

According to 2012 map issued by the NCMEC, Florida has 59,552 registered sex offenders in the state, or 317 per 100,000.

Collins said it is becoming easier for police to identify predators and the people they are distributing to using the Internet or peer-to-peer sharing systems.

“They’re better trained than they’ve ever been at being able to detect and investigate these types of crimes,” she said. “And more children are being rescued from abusive situations than before.”

Jenna Lyons wrote this story online.

About Kelsey Meany

Kelsey is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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