June 19, 2014 9:51 am
Updated: June 19, 2014 8:05 pm

Eight Alberta men arrested in Canada-wide child porn sting

CALGARY – Police have arrested eight men throughout Alberta as part of a nation-wide child pornography sting.

More than 150 individuals were arrested or are presently under investigation as part of the sting, called Operation Snapshot III.

“This just speaks to the growing problem of child exploitation in the country, but it also speaks to the government and the police agencies recognizing the need to set up specialized units to deal with this problem,” said Sgt. Mike Lokken with Alberta’s Integrated Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit.

WATCH: Gord Steinke speaks with Lokken on Global Edmonton’s Early News


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The operation began in February 2014, and targeted high-risk offenders.

“All of our investigations are disturbing,” said Lokken. “Any time you know people pray on the most vulnerable members of our society and it’s children, they don’t have a choice. Often times that’s the thing that bothers the investigators the most.

“Arguably, children are probably the most vulnerable people in society. If they’re stuck in a house or they’re stuck in a situation, they have no means or ability to get out of it.”

Of the men arrested, two are from Calgary and one is from Edmonton.

The following people are facing a combined 23 charges, including accessing child pornography, possession of child pornography, and making available child pornography:

  • Brian Gonsalves, a 51-year-old man from Calgary
  • Jeff Munsie, a 33-year-old man from Calgary
  • Mark Perry, a 37-year-old man from Edmonton
  • Christopher Kuchera, a 38-year-old man from Stavely
  • James Jensen, a 29-year-old man from Didsbury
  • Alex Morin, a 25-year-old man from Enoch First Nations
  • Stanley Skotniczny, a 68-year-old man from Camrose
  • Lance Thorburn, a 43-year-old man from Wetaskwin

“People’s collections are growing,” said Lokken, “they’re getting bigger every year.

“We can’t get them all, but we can target the worst of the worst. We’re never going to get rid of child pornography.”

Police say during the operation, five children from across the country were removed from harm and nearly two million images and videos were seized.

“There is no indication at this time that any of our targets were actually offending on children,” explained Lokken. “It doesn’t appear that any of these guys had direct or really close access to children.”

Forty police agencies from across Canada were involved.

“The short time of pleasure for these people that do this to children will affect that child for the rest of their life, that’s the horrific thing about it,” said Lokken.

“There are thousands of people in Alberta everyday sharing or looking at child pornography.”

Operation Snapshot III

Supplied, ALERT
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