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Wanted Sexual Predator in Child Porn Ring Arrested: Feds

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    NEWSLETTERS

    According to the Ottumwa police department in Iowa, 17-year-old Kraigen A. Grooms has been arrested and is being held on $100,000 cash-only bond. Grooms faces felony sex abuse charges and could face up to 25 years behind bars if convicted. Police in Ottumwa said he has been charged as an adult.

    A 17-year-old man wanted in connection to the sexual abuse of a toddler in North Texas has been captured in Iowa, authorities said.

    Kraigen A. Grooms was arrested in Ottumwa, Iowa, and is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond, according to Ottumwa police. He faces felony sex abuse charges that could carry a 25-year prison sentence, if convicted. He has been charged as an adult, Ottumwa police said.

    Grooms was located after a 30-hour manhunt that began on Tuesday, when federal officials detailed during a press conference the alleged sexual abuse of a toddler by the suspect, who they identified as 'John Doe'.

    The call for information came as federal agents announced the results of one of the largest online child exploitation investigations in history, involving victims in 37 states and five foreign countries.

    Operation Round Table, run by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations team, resulted in the arrest of 14 suspected producers and distributors of child pornography.

    "We urgently ask for the public's help to find this predator and his helpless, toddler victim," HSI Special Agent David Marwell said of "John Doe" on Tuesday. "It's possible this abuse is still continuing."

    Carl Rusnok,  Director of Communications, Central Region, for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed that "John Doe" had been arrested, but would not release any more information on him because he is a minor. 

    It took approximately 30 hours from the time the suspect's photograph was shared during that news conference to the time law enforcement was able to bring the suspect into custody, Rusnok told NBC 5.

    Tips from the public were instrumental in helping to identify and arrest the suspect, Rusnok said.

    Photographs posted to an underground, child pornography website reportedly showed "John Doe" sexually abusing a baby, believed to be between 12-18 months old at the time of the abuse, according to a news release from HSI.

    Investigators were able to place the suspect in the Dallas-Fort Worth area around the time of the abuse, believed to be in April 2013, because of a hat he was seen wearing in the photographs. The hat featured a logo that reads, "Shut Up N Play," which was new at the time and had only been released with a very limited distribution within North Texas, according to investigators.

    Grooms was appointed a public defense attorney. A call on Friday to the Ottumwa Public Defender's Office was not immediately returned.