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March 15, 2006

International effort busts 27 in online child porn sting

U.S. Charges 27 in Online Child Porn Sting
Associated Press Writer

INDIANAPOLIS - U.S. and international authorities have charged 27 people in an online child pornography sting, a federal law enforcement official said Wednesday.

In recent days, federal agents have made arrests in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee, the official said.

Australian, British and Canadian authorities also are part of the investigation, which began in Canada.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, joined by other U.S. and Canadian officials, was announcing details of the charges at a news conference Wednesday in Chicago.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency led the U.S. investigation.

Gonzales has said the Justice Department would focus on crimes against children and online pornography.
UPDATE: (via Reuters) US says worldwide child pornography ring used Web.
[...] Twenty-seven people from nine U.S. states and Canada, Australia and Britain have been charged with possession, receipt, distribution and manufacture of child pornography, and all but one have been arrested, according to U.S. federal authorities and Canadian police.

[...] "This international undercover investigation revealed an insidious network that engaged in worldwide trafficking in child pornography, including live molestations of children transmitted over the Internet," U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in a statement released ahead of a visit to Chicago.

Authorities have identified seven child victims, including an infant whose molestation in April by a suburban Chicago man was transmitted live via an Internet chat room to a co-conspirator who used the screen name "Big_Daddy619."

Four of those charged allegedly molested the children, making the resulting images available in the chat room called "Kiddypics & Kiddyvids," that facilitated trading of thousands of images and videos, the statement said. [...]

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