Holder, Napolitano, announce arrests in DreamBoard child porn network case
Investigation launched in Dec. 2009:
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today the unsealing of three indictments and one complaint charging a total of 72 individuals for their participation in an international criminal network dedicated to the sexual abuse of children and the creation and dissemination of graphic images and videos of child sexual abuse throughout the world. Attorney General Holder and Secretary Napolitano announced the charges with Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Director of U.S. Immigration of Customs Enforcement (ICE) John Morton and U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley of the Western District of Louisiana.
Operation Delego, an ongoing investigation that was launched in December 2009, targeted the 72 charged defendants and more than 500 additional individuals around the world for their participation in Dreamboard – a private, members-only, online bulletin board that was created and operated to promote pedophilia and encourage the sexual abuse of very young children, in an environment designed to avoid law enforcement detection. To date, 52 of the 72 charged defendants have been arrested in the United States and abroad. 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 international group prized and encouraged the creation of new images and videos of child sexual abuse – numerous Dreamboard members sexually abused children, produced images and videos of the abuse, and shared the images and videos with other members of Dreamboard. Operation Delego represents the largest prosecution to date in the United States of individuals who participated in an online bulletin board conceived and operated for the sole purpose of promoting child sexual abuse, disseminating child pornography and evading law enforcement.
More from the Justice Dept:
According to court documents, Dreamboard members were divided into groups based on status and ranking. The highest level of membership was ‘Super VIP.’. Individuals who obtained that title had created new images of child pornography by molesting children and shared those images with the board administrators. The next level of membership was ‘Super VIP,’ which was comprised of trusted members of the website. The next level after Super VIP was the VIP rank. Individuals in the lowest level of membership were called Members. Those in the lower ranks could only access a limited quantity of child pornography on the bulletin board. The higher the rank, the more material was available to the member. Individuals advanced to higher levels of membership by providing child abuse images that the individual had produced, providing a large number of images, or providing images that had never been seen before.