sk-child-porn

A closeup image of a screen on a police computer, showing a map of Saskatchewan used by the province's Internet Child Exploitation unit. Police said the pinpoints note locations of ongoing investigations. ((CBC))

Police in Saskatchewan say five men have been arrested and charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

The arrests were announced at a news conference Friday in Saskatoon.

Police in that city said a joint investigation involving police across the province led to suspects in five communities: Saskatoon, North Battleford, Esterhazy, Regina and Weyburn.

The men, ranging in age from 21 to 55, were arrested earlier in the week. Police said they also seized a number of computers.

"This project should serve notice, not only to those on the internet, but to all who are actively involved in abusing children: We are watching," Sgt. Patrick Nogier, the co-ordinator of the Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation Unit, said.

Nogier added that police went after people they believed had accumulated prolific amounts of pornography.

Police said their investigation was ongoing and they did not know if any Saskatchewan children were connected to the images.

"It's our hope that we're going to be able to prioritize some of these things," Nogier said, noting that the volume of internet porn is substantial.

"We can only intervene in so many circumstances," he said. "We know that we can hit the guys that have the most potential to abuse children."

Nogier said police want to stop people before they're tempted to make their own exploitive pictures — using children they know.