Computer Crime Research Center


14 Americans arrested in child porn sting

Date: March 05, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Fourteen Americans are in custody as part of a global crackdown on a well-organized child porn ring that used sophisticated encryption technology, the FBI and Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Justice Department officials described it as a "vast child exploitation enterprise" that included graphic images, such as ones showing toddlers engaged in various sexual and sadistic acts.

The suspects allegedly used Internet newsgroups and large file-sharing networks to trade and share images and videos.

They also distributed more than 400,000 lewd pictures and movies, the Justice Department said.

Authorities said the advanced technology the suspects allegedly used to both share the images among themselves and sell the material to others made them especially hard to track down.

"This is beyond a quantum exponential leap for us to see folks that have gone to this much trouble to produce this kind of volume of horrific exploitation of children," said FBI executive assistant director J. Stephen Tidwell, according to The Associated Press.

It may take years for authorities to find the victims, Tidwell told the AP, adding that 20 of the children seen in the images have been identified and rescued so far.

The ring, which allegedly had been trading in child porn for two years, was broken up after a law enforcement officer infiltrated the group, the Justice Department said.

Twelve of the those arrested -- including suspects from Virginia, Florida, Oregon, Indiana, Texas, Connecticut, Washington state, California, Texas, Idaho and North Carolina -- face charges of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, transportation of child porn and obstruction of justice.

If found guilty, the suspects could face a sentence ranging from 20 years to life in prison.

Two other defendants face separate charges.

The FBI said 22 people were taken into custody overall, including people in Australia, Canada, Germany and England.

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2008-03-30 00:58:33 - nicely done such tedious work.Its range... sureshthote
2008-03-22 14:38:16 - Can you release any of the names yet and... Thomas Tull
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