Feds Bust Child Porn ‘Social Networking’ Site

INDIANAPOLIS — U.S. federal prosecutors say they are working with police in several countries to investigate suspects in a child pornography “social networking site” that at one point had more than 1,000 members trading explicit images.

To view dictionary popup window put your cursor on the blue words

Iniquity Abounding

“For the mystery of iniquityStrongs 458: anomia, an-om-ee´-ah; from 459; illegality, i.e. violation of law or (genitive case) wickedness:—iniquity, x transgress(-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.
Strongs 459: anomos, an´-om-os; from 1 (as a negative particle) and 3551; lawless, i.e. (negatively) not subject to (the Jewish) law; (by implication, a Gentile), or (positively) wicked:—without law, lawless, transgressor, unlawful, wicked.
doth already work: only he who now lettethStrongs 2722: katecho, kat-ekh´-o; from 2596 and 2192; to hold down (fast), in various applications (literally or figuratively):—have, hold (fast), keep (in memory), let, x make toward, possess, retain, seize on, stay, take, withhold. will let, until he be taken out of the way.”
—2Thessalonians 2:7

Innocent Blood

“Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offencesStrongs 4625: skandalon, skan´-dal-on; (“scandal;” probably from a derivative of 2578; a trap-stick (bent sapling), i.e. snare (figuratively, cause of displeasure or sin): — occasion to fall (of stumbling), offence, thing that offends, stumblingblock. will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
—Luke 17:1

Jesus said, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offendStrongs 4624: skandalizo, skan-dal-id´-zo; from 4625; to entrap, i.e. trip up (figuratively, stumble (transitively) or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure): — (make to) offend. one of these little ones.”
—Luke 17:2

U.S. authorities announced Wednesday that they had broken up the international online child porn site, saying more than 50 people had been arrested in more than 50 states since the 2008 start of the investigation.

They said they are also seeking the extradition of several suspects from overseas, including the alleged ringleader, Delwyn Savigar, who is serving a 14-year prison term in England for sexually assaulting three underage girls.

Savigar created and ran a password-protected website from which members could access collections of sexual images — some including as many as a million files — share their fantasies about having sex with children and give advice to each other about how to build their collections and avoid getting caught, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. DeBrota said.

“This was a social networking site, really,” he said.

To join the group, a person had to be sponsored by a member and voted on by other members, DeBrota said. Some members knew each other only by their screen names, but some knew each other outside of the ring, he said.

“This is the largest crimes against children case brought anywhere by anyone,” DeBrota said.

According to DeBrota, the group did not focus on producing photographs, although several members were found to have been personally sexually abusing children, sometimes producing images of the abuse.

“Making the material was not part of this group’s conspiracy,” DeBrota said.

Immigration and postal agencies also took part in the investigation, along with state and local police.

The group had about 1,000 members at its peak but had culled its membership to about 500 when U.S. officials took down the website in 2008. DeBrota said prosecutors went after high-ranking members or those who had records of abusing children.

One suspect, 47-year-old Edward Oedewaldt, who was arrested April 23 in Arcadia, Louisiana, was brought to Indianapolis on Wednesday to face charges of conspiracy to advertise and distribute child pornography and was ordered to remain in federal custody pending trial. He has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Howard Bergstein, declined to comment.

Prosecutors said 35 ring members have been convicted of various child pornography distribution charges. Some of them have received sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

Besides Indiana and Louisiana, suspects came from California, Alaska, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia and Florida, DeBrota said.

The investigation was kept secret for so long to avoid tipping off suspects, Morrison said.

The government is working with police in several countries, including France, Germany and England, to investigate other suspects, DeBrota said. Investigators also believe the group had members in Asia, Africa and South America.

The website had a hierarchy and members were given ranks that gave them varying degrees of access to the pornography. Savigar was the “root administrator,” and the ranks descended from “administrator” to “moderator” to “grand master” to “trusted member,” DeBrota said.

Investigators were able to infiltrate the ring after taking over the online profile of a member who was arrested in Alabama as part of a separate case, DeBrota said.

Many suspected ring members were charged in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. Conspiracy charges can be brought anywhere an alleged conspiracy occurs, and investigators discovered early on that four members of the group were from Indiana, DeBrota said.

  1. Carrie M. Boyer, 02 June, 2010

    Y’all get ready to hear that Trumpet Voice!

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