Three Gatineau men have been arrested and are facing charges after a Quebec-wide child pornography bust.

Sûreté du Québec (SQ) police arrested a 27-year-old La Cité collégiale teacher and charged him with possession and production of child pornography. He was a campaign manager in Gatineau's most recent municipal election.

He appeared in court Thursday afternoon. 

Quebec police also arrested a 49-year-old custodian at an Ottawa Catholic school, and a 64-year-old retired government worker. Both appeared in court Wednesday and were charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. 

Both have been released from police custody and are set to appear in court in December and January.

School board investigating custodian

A spokesperson at the school board where the custodian works said the SQ don't believe the man's alleged criminal activities involved any students at the school.

"Of course, that is reassuring for parents and for employees, as well," said Roxanne Deevey, communications director at Le Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, an Ontario French language school board. 

He has been suspended from his job while school board officials investigate.

Parents and staff of the elementary school were notified. 

Operation Mainmise began in June

The SQ led Operation Mainmise between June and October this year with the co-operation of police forces from across Quebec. The arrests took place between Nov. 18-21 across the province.

Officers from the Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau, Laval, Longueuil,Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Lévis, Trois-Rivières, Terrebonne, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Saint-Jérôme police forces assisted in the operation, and the SQ revealed its findings at a news conference Thursday morning at its Montreal headquarters.

Only one victim has been identified so far — a five-year-old boy — but police said there could be up to 40 victims.

Since the creation of a dedicated internet child pornography unit in 2003, the SQ has arrested 250 people in Quebec.

Police says there is no link so far between the suspects, since there is no evidence the men shared the same online files. However, the SQ said investigators are working on leads that may connect the suspects.

The men who were arrested range in age from 21 to 68 years of age, and come from different backgrounds and occupations.