Over a dozen men have been charged with sex crimes in Australia following an American FBI investigation that proved fatal for two agents.
Officials announced Tuesday that 19 men had been arrested and charged with a combined 138 offenses in connection to an international pedophile ring.
“We will allege that these men were members of a technologically sophisticated online child abuse network that was operating across the country,” Australian Federal Police Commander Helen Schneider told news outlets.
“We are proud of our longstanding relationship with the Australian Federal Police resulting in 19 Australian men facing criminal prosecution as a result of our collaborative investigation,” FBI Legal Attaché Nitiana Mann said.
Two of the suspects have already been convicted and sentenced, according to authorities.
Those convicted are set to serve approximately 15 years in the Australian Capital Territory and five years in New South Wales.
Thirteen children were rescued in the operation, but the circumstances of the victims have not been made public.
The Australian investigation began following a fatal shoot-out between FBI agents and an American suspect tied to the criminal group.
FBI special agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger were killed in 2021 while attempting to execute a search warrant for child pornography in Florida.
Suspect David Lee Huber, 55, fired a rifle through the door and killed the pair of agents, wounding three others. He then turned the gun on himself.
“[Alfin and Schwartzenberger] were the best the FBI has to offer. Laura was not only a colleague but a close friend. You will not find more stalwart, honorable and hardworking agents than Dan and Laura,” former FBI Special Agent Nicole Parker said.
Parker — who has written opinion pieces for Fox News Digital — served in the agency’s Miami Division.
“We often spoke and Laura struggled with the darkness she saw, but her faith in God carried her through. These are the fine men and women that make the FBI proud.”
“There is so much scandal these days but this is the work the FBI should be focusing on. I will not allow her legacy to be tainted by those who are ruining the reputation of the entire FBI,” Parker said.
Mann went on to highlight the value of close cooperation between nations and law enforcement, including the FBI. “The complexity and anonymity of these platforms means that no agency or country can fight these threats alone. As we continue to build bridges through collaboration and teamwork, we can ensure the good guys win and the bad guys lose.”