Operation Predator App aids in arrest of suspected child predator

DETROIT - A man suspected of downloading child pornography was arrested a day and a half after a new smartphone app that uses the public to find child predators came out, officials say.

The Operation Predator app was created by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security to take information given by the public regarding wanted child predators and assist in catching them.

The Michigan man profiled in the app was arrested Friday afternoon by HIS and FBI special agents among Michigan State Police officers, officials say.

The man, Mark Robert Austin, was charged with downloading over 100 images and almost a dozen videos of child pornography, officials say. Austin is being held on charges of selling marijuana.

Operation Predator was created "to make the world a very small place for suspected child predators to hide," said William Hayes, acting special agent in charge of HIS.

Suspected child predatory activities can be reported through 1-866-347-2423.

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