Operation SWIPE LEFT was an HSI Phoenix investigation that began with an RCMP referral regarding the sexual assault and production of CSAM of an infant victim. Within 24 hours of notification, HSI Phoenix rescued the child and arrested Michael Spatz. The investigation revealed a ring of Arizona based suspects as well as digital groups of suspects around the world, who utilized proximity-based dating application to connect individuals involved in the production of CSAM. From the dating application suspects migrated to Telegram. The operation resulted in the successful prosecution of seventeen individuals, and the rescue of fourteen children. Individuals arrested involved multiple people in positions of public trust with access to children. This presentation will not only focus on the results of the operation, but the techniques utilized to identify subjects conducting their illicit activity over Telegram, and the interview techniques utilized to gain confidence and cooperation of defendants to fully identify offenders within their closed networks. The investigation has been featured in multiple new articles, HSI and Arizona Attorney General press releases and most recently by the Chicago Sun Times.
This case study will assist criminal investigators on how to identify, exploit and target Telegram groups that are producing and distributing CSAM
This case study will display the proper techniques used to set up a lure operation w/State and Local partners
This case study will assist investigators on how to prepare, plan and execute an interview plan to maximize success in account takeovers