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ICE Busts 72 in Crackdown on Child Porn and Child Exploitation

Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities on Wednesday announced charges against 72 people in connection with an international network dedicated to the sexual abuse of children and the creation and dissemination of child pornography.

Authorities said it was the largest prosecution of its kind in the U.S.  involving a pedephillia bulletin board.

The investigation, lead by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and  dubbed “Operation Delego”, was launched in December 2009 and targeted the 72 defendants and more than 500 other people around the world who participated in “Dreamboard”– a private, members-only, online bulletin board that promote pedophilia and encourage the sexual abuse of very young children, authorities said.

To date, 52 of the 72 charged defendants have been arrested in the U.S. and abroad, authorities said.

Authorities said members traded graphic images and videos of adults molesting children 12 years-old and under, often violently, and “collectively created a massive private library of images of child sexual abuse.

“The members of this criminal network shared a demented dream to create the preeminent online community for the promotion of child sexual exploitation but for the children they victimized, this was nothing short of a nightmare,” said Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. in a statement. “This operation marks another important step forward in our work to protect children across – and beyond – this country. Our nation’s fight to protect the rights, interests, and safety of children goes on, and it will continue to be a top priority of this Justice Department.”

“This operation is an example of the good work that DHS, through its principal investigative arm, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), does every year in cooperation with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to protect children,” said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

“As alleged in court documents, Dreamboard was a self-described global ‘community’ of pedophiles dedicated to the relentless victimization and exploitation of children 12 and under,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Using sophisticated methods to evade detection by law enforcement, Dreamboard members allegedly used the power and anonymity of the Internet to motivate each other to commit their horrific acts of sexual abuse of minors and trading in child pornography. “


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