Feds’ ‘Predator App’ nabs first sex crimes suspect

The federal government’s new “predator app” that enrolls the public in helping spot child sex crimes suspects was operating for little more than a day before it nabbed its first capture, authorities said Friday.

Mark Robert Austin, one of the people being sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was arrested near Flint, Mich., after several tipsters gave his location.


SEE ALSO: Tip led FBI to one of its Ten Most Wanted Child-porn suspect found in Nicaragua


The man had been charged with downloading more than 100 images and nearly a dozen videos of child pornography.

ICE unveiled its “Operation Predator App” on Thursday, saying it would highlight people the agency was seeking in connection with child sex crimes or pornography.

The app, which is available through Apple right now but which the agency wants to expand to other platforms, gives information and photos about sex predators the agency’s Homeland Security Investigations unit is seeking.

“One of the primary goals of this app was to make the world a very small place for suspected child predators to hide,” said William Hayes, acting special agent in charge of HSI Detroit. “The arrest of Mr. Austin certainly proves that goal was accomplished.”

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