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Ten Nova Scotians have been charged with various child pornography offences as a result of Operation Snapshot III. (Shutterstock )

Ten Nova Scotians have been charged with child pornography offences as a result of a massive investigation which involved more than 40 law enforcement agencies across the country.

It is not known how many images were seized in Nova Scotia. The number of images in past local investigations have been in the millions, said Cpl. Rob McDougall, the head of the Nova Scotia RCMP Provincial Internet Child Exploitation Unit.

"You can only imagine as hard drive storage increases, how many images can be contained on a hard drive," he said.

Five Canadian children were rescued and 150 people have either been charged or remain under investigation in a child pornography operation targeting online predators exploiting children, police said Thursday morning from Dartmouth.

In the Halifax area, four people were charged as a result of the Canada-wide investigation called Operation Snapshot III:

  • A 46-year-old Allan Street man is facing charges of possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography and making available child pornography.
  • A 56-year-old Westerwald Street man is facing charges of possession of child pornography and making available child pornography.
  • A 33-year-old man who lives on Lakecrest Drive in Dartmouth is facing charges of possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography and making available child pornography.
  • A 36-year-old man who lives on Tenshire Court in Middle Sackville is facing charges of possession of child pornography and making available child pornography.

A search warrant was carried out on a residence on Stoneybook Court in Halifax on May 22, but no charges have been laid in that investigation.

6 other Nova Scotians arrested

Six other people from across the province are also facing charges as a result of the investigation:

  • A 23-year-old man who lives on Lynch Drive in Sydney River is facing charges of possession of child pornography and making available child pornography.
  • A 36-year-old man who lives on Victoria Road in Sydney is facing charges of possession of child pornography and making available child pornography.
  • A 27-year-old man who lives on Hanway Road in Port Morien is facing charges of possession of child pornography and making available child pornography.
  • A 20-year-old Hants County resident who lives on Chalet Crescent in Brooklyn is facing charges of possession of child pornography and making available child pornography.
  • A 21-year-old Hilden man is facing charges of possession of child pornography and making available child pornography.
  • A 50-year-old Bridgewater man who lives on Phoenix Street is charged with possession of child pornography and making available child pornography.

Nova Scotian police forces involved in Operation Snapshot III included the Nova Scotia RCMP Provincial Internet Child Exploitation Unit, the RCMP/HRP Integrated Child Exploitation Unit, Cape Breton Regional Police and Bridgewater Police.

Almost 350 charges laid nationwide

As a result of the investigation, five children in four provinces were rescued and more than a million images were seized, some involving infants, the Mounties said.

"I cannot stress enough what these images are and what they are not," RCMP Sgt. Michael Petrilli told a news conference in Dartmouth.

"These images are not simply children having a bubble bath. They are clearly children that are in a situation where they are being sexually assaulted."

Investigators say two of the children who have been rescued are from British Columbia, and the other three are from Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.