Just one week before the first man arrested in what Australian Federal Police dubbed Operation Arkstone, Justin Radford is to be sentenced, they arrested a 17th individual.
This is the third arrest to take place concerning this operation since we reported on it last November. At that time, there had been 14 individuals arrested and charged with 828 offenses.
The unnamed 26-year-old man arrested yesterday, was from Lane Cove. He has been charged with child abuse material offenses, bestiality, and one count of willful and obscene exposure in public.
The animal has been removed from his home.
As with other arrests, investigating officers seized his cell phone and are conducting a forensic search on it.
The individual arrested was denied bail and was scheduled to appear in Hornsby Local Court today. He faces a possible maximum of 15 years in jail if found guilty.
During the course of this investigation, each seized electronic device, beginning with Radford, has led them to other suspected members of the pedophile network and further arrests.
A spokeswoman for the AFP stated that, “Investigators followed the digital trail from seized electronic materials during the search warrant at his home, to uncover other alleged offenders across Australia, with further arrests.”
"Our investigators have been combing through every image, video and communication since Operation Arkstone began, to find and bring to justice those who carelessly abuse and forever traumatize our children," Detective Superintendent McQuillan said according to ABC.
"We are continuing to examine the evidence seized throughout the investigation and have not ruled out the possibility of further arrests."
The investigation remains ongoing and officers have not ruled out the possibility of still further arrests.