FBI investigation leads to arrests in Arkansas, Missouri in transnational child exploitation case
TULSA, Okla. (Edited News Release/KY3) - An investigation into a Broken Arrow, Okla. man alleged to have been an administrator for a transnational child exploitation chat group has led to five additional arrests and the rescue of multiple child victims in the United States and Europe.
Thus far, the FBI and task force partners have arrested six individuals and rescued child victims in Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, and Norway.
In August, Cameron Kelly McAbee, 31, of Broken Arrow, was charged in a federal indictment with child exploitation enterprise; sexual exploitation of a child by a parent; receipt and distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography in Indian Country.
“Cameron McAbee is alleged to have been an online administrator for a social media group whose criteria for entry was to have a child available to sexually abuse and photograph,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “My office and our law enforcement partners will continue to expose individuals involved in this covert group and identify and rescue child victims.”
“FBI Agents in both Tulsa and Atlanta, along with task force partners discovered, investigated, and ultimately neutralized an international cabal of alleged child predators,” said Alvin M. Winston, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Oklahoma City. “The threat Mr. McAbee and his partners posed to children worldwide were thwarted by the relentless dedication of FBI investigators joining forces with detectives from Tulsa and Broken Arrow police departments. Only through strong police partnerships can law enforcement remain unified and effective in the global fight to bring child predators to justice.”
According to court documents, on July 13, 2021, the FBI discovered an online chat group that shared child sexual abuse material and determined that McAbee was an administrator. The FBI observed that gaining membership in the group required showing photographic proof of having access to a child for the suspected purpose of sharing child sexual abuse material. Continued access to the group required members to produce and share images and videos of the members sexually abusing children. On July 24, 2021, McAbee is alleged to have posted a “live photo” to the group depicting the sexual abuse of a child.
On July 26, 2021, the FBI linked the administrator account to McAbee and his Broken Arrow address and executed a search warrant at the residence that same day.
McAbee agreed to an interview with FBI agents and allegedly confirmed that he held an administrative role in multiple groups, including one specifically designed for sharing explicit images and videos of children the members had physical access to. He allegedly stated that he had traded images of child sexual abuse that would be considered child pornography, including the sexually explicit “live” image he sent of a child to the online chat group on July 24, 2021.
Defendants arrested as part of the investigation include:
FBI arrest - Cameron McAbee of Broken Arrow
FBI arrest - Eric McCants of San Antonio, Texas
FBI arrest - Michael McClure of DeFuniak Springs, Florida
FBI arrest - Jeffrey Prowant of Stone County, Missouri
Arkansas arrest - James Ray Bickerstaff of Siloam Springs, Arkansas
Law enforcement authorities in Norway arrested an unnamed subject
Additional child victims have been brought to safety, and the FBI continues to investigate leads in at least four other states.
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