Sheriff Dart on Seizure of Backpage.Com: 'I Honestly Never Thought I’d See This Day' - NBC Chicago

Sheriff Dart on Seizure of Backpage.Com: 'I Honestly Never Thought I’d See This Day'

Last year, the creators of the website were charged with money laundering in California

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    Sheriff Dart on Seizure of Backpage.Com: 'I Honestly Never Thought I’d See This Day'

    The feds shut down Backpage.com after a senate report last year found the website "knowingly concealed evidence of crimes.” Patrick Fazio reports. (Published Friday, April 6, 2018)

    The feds shut down Backpage.com after a senate report last year found the website "knowingly concealed evidence of crimes.”

    Cook County’s sheriff says now there’s one less tool for bad guys, but no one should be naïve about the ongoing danger.

    Federal agents raided Friday the Arizona home of one of the founders of Backpage.com and shut down the online classified website associated with prostitution and child sex trafficking.

    "This has been going on for so long and I honestly never thought I’d see this day," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said.

    Dart says he's worked to stop Backpage.com for more than a decade.

    "It was all that website that people were going to in most all of our cases," he said. "We made 900 some arrests all from that website."

    One local case is that of Desiree Robinson who was found murdered in a Markham garage.

    Prosecutors say her alleged murderer -- Antonio Rosales -- met the 16-year old through an ad on Backpage.com.

    "We're not the same anymore, we've changed," Diseree's mother Yvonne Ambrose said at the time. "We're hurt. I lost a part of me."

    Ambrose filed a lawsuit against Backpage.com to protect other girls, she said.

    "The recent case with Desiree was one that really I think woke a lot of people up to just the horrors of what can happen here," Dart told NBC 5.

    Even though backpage is shut down, the danger is still out there on the internet.

    "People keep saying well Tom, this has been going on forever," Dart said. "It's never been going on like this. This has been going on, on steroids."

    Investigators say during 14 years of operation, Backpage.com made more than $500 million.