Cache Sheriff concerned with pending immigration changes, Internet crimes

A tough Arizona-type immigration reform bill is currently making its way through the Utah legislature that would require law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people when they perceive there may be a problem.Cache County Sheriff Lynn Nelson says there is now a law on the books where consulates, and other places in countries outside of the United States, are notified and if someone commits a crime they will be deported. Nelson says the public has been supportive of this law.”Now the next step of dealing strictly as an illegal alien status, as a crime, that’s the part that becomes much more complicated,” Nelson said on KVNU’s Crosstalk show Monday. “Some people are here. They are fulfilling vital needs of communities and cities and doing jobs that maybe other people aren’t willing to do.”You start arresting those people and it will start having an impact on the economy.”The sheriff says the proposed immigration enforcement law would come with a very high price tag.Besides looming changes to immigration enforcement and how it could potentially affect his workforce, the type of crime that concerns Sheriff Nelson the most right now is Internet crime, especially Internet crimes against children.On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Monday Nelson said the number of these crimes has increased dramatically and yet he feels those being prosecuted are just a small part of what is actually occurring.Nelson says this type of crime is extremely complicated, it takes a lot of time to put the cases together, they are hard to investigate and hard on investigators.”Someone has to look at those images and determine whether or not they meet the standards in the law,” Nelson said. “That’s hard on our people to sit and look at that day in and day out. “Those are challenging things. Like I said, they take a lot of time, very complex cases versus you arrest an individual for doing 30 or 40 auto burglaries you solve 40 cases with one arrest. Sometimes that doesn’t take as much time.”The sheriff says investigators have had to travel virtually all over the United States to find the perpetrators and bring them back here where the Internet crime took place. He says one recent case involved bringing the suspect to Cache County from Alaska.

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