FREDERICK, Md. — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Frederick joined with other federal, state and local enforcement agencies Oct. 26 to recognize officially the creation of a new Interagency Child Exploitation and Persons Trafficking Task Force (INTERCEPT) in Frederick.
“The creation of this task force is monumental,” said HSI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris. “INTERCEPT is an innovative way to combine federal, state and local law enforcement capabilities. This task force represents a significant tool for HSI Baltimore, and our partner law enforcement agencies to employ in our mission to educate and protect our Maryland residents.”
The creation of the new task force was recognized at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new INTERCEPT facility within the HSI Frederick field office.
Harris and HSI Frederick Resident Agent in Charge David Snyder, members of the HSI Frederick Cyber and Human Exploitation Group, and representatives from HSI headquarters represented HSI among the crowd of law enforcement authorities, which included federal, state and local law enforcement representatives from the state of Maryland.
Operation Light Shine created INTERCEPT to provide the resources, staffing and support required to identify and rescue child victims, apprehend their offenders and reduce the risk through public education and awareness. The state-of-the-art facilities will bring together law enforcement, nongovernmental organizations, prosecutors, victim services and medical professionals in a multidisciplinary approach to fight the exploitation and trafficking of children. The INTERCEPT Task Force is a world-class, first-of-its-kind workspace providing all resources required to conduct investigations, plan and execute operations, identify and rescue victims, educate parents and youth, process and analyze seized data, and serve the community.
HSI Frederick entered into a memorandum of understanding with INTERCEPT’s parent agency, Operation Light Shine. HSI Frederick will be partnered with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Maryland State Police, the Frederick City Police Department, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Secret Service, and FBI Baltimore.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.