(KLIX) – Seven investigators with the Idaho unit of Internet Crimes Against Children were recently cross-deputized as United States Marshals, according to Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

The deputations will allow each investigator to further assist in the filing of federal charges against suspects accused of exploiting children online, a news release explained on Wednesday.

“This additional authority gives the ICAC Unit yet another tool in fighting back against online sexual predators,” Wasden said. “It helps streamline the process for obtaining and executing federal search warrants, which will aid in the filing of federal charges.”

U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis hosted two swearing-in ceremonies after the officers passed federal background checks. The detectives are John Brumbaugh and Rob Fowler, who were sworn in on April 29, and Ken Boals, Jim Bohr, Mark Dalton, Jeff Peterson and Dustin Robinson, each who took the federal oath on May 30.

Davis said federally deputizing investigators will help improve responses to crime.

“The investigation and prosecution of online child exploitation is critical to stopping child sexual abuse. Tragically, these cases often involve the ongoing abuse of young children at the hands of individuals whom possess, receive, distribute and produce images depicting child exploitation. For years, my office has partnered with state and local law enforcement, county prosecutors and the ICAC Unit to successfully investigate and prosecute online child exploitation cases.

Anyone with information about the exploitation of children should contact local police, the Attorney General’s ICAC Unit at 208-334-4527, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.

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