WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 18, 2014) – An Indiana man was among 14 people arrested in connection with a global child pornography ring that claimed victims in 39 states and five other countries, federal investigators say.
The arrests are part of Operation Roundtable, one of the largest online child exploitation investigations in the history of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the operation included ICE, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Federal investigators say the men operated a child exploitation website on Darknet’s Onion Router, also known as Tor. They’re all in federal custody.
The child pornography enterprise included 251 minors in 39 states and five foreign countries (United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Belgium). The majority of the victims were between the ages of 13 and 15, investigators said, although two victims were under the age of three.
Federal investigators described the operation as a “strong coordinated strike” among U.S. agencies.
Jonathan Johnson, 27, Abita Springs, La., is considered the website’s primary administrator. He’s charged with operating a child exploitation enterprise. Investigators said he created multiple fake female personas online to target and sexually exploit children. He also coached other online predators, investigators said. He’s been in federal custody since June 13, 2013.
The website was hidden on the Tor network and operated for about a year from June 2012 to June 2013. It hosted more than 2,000 videos and had more than 27,000 members who shared webcam videos of boys engaging in explicit behavior. Tor enables users to surf the web anonymously by directing internet traffic through a volunteer network of relays to hide a person’s location.
After Johnson’s arrest, more dominos began to fall. The following individuals have been arrested and charged in the Eastern District of Louisiana as operators, contributors and producers of sexually explicit material involving minors:
- Daniel Nolan Devor, 39, of Brunswick, Ga., charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography, distribution of child pornography and receipt of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors
- John C. Foster, 44 of Tipp City, Ohio, charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and receipt of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors
- Aung Gaw aka Michael Gaw, 25, of Fremont, Calif., charged with receipt of child pornography
- Vittorio Francesco Gonzalez-Castillo, 26, of Tucson, Ariz., charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography
- Sean Jabbar, 32, of Minneapolis, Minn., charged with receipt of child pornography
- Christopher Jamieson, 30, of Douglassville, Ga., charged with receipt of child pornography
- Andrew Korpal, 29, of Granger, Ind., charged with receipt of child pornography
- Nicholas Saine, 27, of Seattle, Wash., charged with receipt of child pornography
- Christopher Schwab, 25 of New Orleans, charged with production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and receipt of child pornography
- Stanley Zdon, III, 27, of Tuckerton, N.J., charged with conspiracy to produce child pornography
Three men have been charged in other districts:
- Roy Naim, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged in the Eastern District of New York with conspiracy to produce child pornography, attempted sexual exploitation of a child, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.
- Minh Vi Thong, 30, of Denver, Colo., was charged in the District of Colorado with production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.
- Michael Eales, 24, of Westby, Wis., was charged in the Western District of Wisconsin with production of child pornography. He was sentenced Oct. 29, 2013, to serve two concurrent 30-year terms in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for manufacturing child pornography.
Law enforcement officials have opened more than 300 investigations into the website and its potential subscribers. Investigators expect more arrests as they continue to identify people associated with the website and sift through some 40 terabytes of data.
Other entities assisting with the investigation include the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.