Sylvan Lake man facing porn charges now free, with conditions

A Sylvan Lake man charged with a number of child pornography offences is one of 57 men arrested and charged after an international investigation involving U.S., Canadian and European police services.

A Sylvan Lake man charged with a number of child pornography offences is one of 57 men arrested and charged after an international investigation involving U.S., Canadian and European police services.

On Nov. 10, a search warrant was executed at a residence in Sylvan Lake. Police seized a computer, related equipment and discs, said Det. Dean Jacobs, with the Southern Alberta integrated child exploitation unit. Jacobs said police are still going through the computers and discs.

Andrew John Tettersell, 33, of Sylvan Lake, has been charged with possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography, making available child pornography and making child pornography. He was released from custody with conditions on Nov. 12. He cannot have contact with any child under the age of 16 and must not have access to a computer or the Internet. Tettersell will be in Red Deer provincial court on Jan. 14.

One other Alberta man has been charged. Daniel Clayton, 29, of Calgary, is facing possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography and making available child pornography.

Jacobs said this has been the biggest case of its kind in the three years since he began working with the Southern Alberta integrated child exploitation unit. “It’s significant for us and also the other agencies too,” he said.

Known as Project Sanctuary, the investigation was undertaken by 13 Canadian police services, including the child exploitation section of the Toronto Police Service’s sex crimes unit, as well as the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and international police services.

There have been 25 children rescued from alleged child abuse worldwide, including 12 children in Canada, 10 in the U.S. and three in Europe.

Jacobs said no children have been rescued within Alberta, but police are still talking to people to see if any local children were affected.

The investigation began when an undercover officer made contact with a man who was trading sexual abuse images and videos over the Internet.

The man has since been charged and convicted. In November 2009, investigators from around Canada, the United States and elsewhere came together to infiltrate the worldwide network of men who were allegedly trading child sexual abuse images and videos and, in some cases, allegedly creating these images.

Jacobs said it was an undercover operation and he couldn’t elaborate on the specifics of how the individuals were found and apprehended.

So far, 25 men in Canada have been charged and face 131 charges among them. The other Canadian men who have been charged are from B.C., Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Ontario. There have also been 26 men in the U.S. charged and six in Europe.

Toronto Det. Paul Krawczyk, with one of the lead agencies in the investigation, said the alleged child pornography collections are large because of the size of computer hard drives.

He also said the victims are allegedly as young as babies.

Krawczyk said because the cases are from across the globe, it is a challenge to say how many images in all were seized. However, he said in past cases police have seen hard drives that have 10,000 child pornography images on them, so he expects there could be hundreds of thousands of images seized or even upwards of a million images seized in the overall investigation.

“I think it has gotten worse because technology is cheaper and more accessible to everybody,” said Krawczyk.

He said it is important for parents to be aware of who their children are around and to listen to their children. He said it is also important for children to know that there is no such thing as a secret they can’t tell their parents.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com