Jim Kouri
Feds disband international child exploitation ring
FacebookTwitter
By Jim Kouri
April 20, 2009

Six U.S. defendants convicted for their activity in a global child pornography trafficking enterprise were sentenced today in the Northern District of Florida, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Rita M. Glavin, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Thomas F. Kirwin and FBI Executive Assistant Director J. Stephen Tidwell announced.

Five of the defendants were convicted following a six-day trial in January 2009 on multiple charges, including engaging in a child exploitation enterprise; conspiracy to advertise, transport, ship, receive and possess child pornography; advertising child pornography; transporting child pornography; receiving child pornography and obstruction of justice.

The defendants sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Lacey A. Collier were Daniel Castleman of Lubbock, Texas; Gary Lakey of Anderson, Ind.; Marvin Lambert of Indianapolis; Neville McGarity of Medina, Texas; Stepan Bondarenko of Philadelphia; and Ronald White of Burlington, NC Five additional U.S. defendants also indicted in the case were sentenced on March 10, 2009.

According to evidence introduced at trial, the defendants were members of a highly sophisticated international network. The group was a well-organized criminal enterprise whose purpose was to proliferate child sex abuse images to its membership during a two-year period.

The defendants were found guilty of participating in an illegal organization that utilized Internet newsgroups — large file-sharing networks where text, software, pictures and videos can be traded and shared — to traffic in illegal images and videos depicting prepubescent children, including toddlers, engaged in various sexual and sadistic acts.

Specifically, an Australian constable who infiltrated the group in August 2006 testified at trial about how group members employed a complex system of pseudonyms, screening tests for new members and sophisticated encryption methods to avoid detection.

He also testified that the group traded more than 400,000 images and 1,000 videos of child sexual abuse before it was dismantled by law enforcement.

Stepan Bondarenko was sentenced today to 20 years in prison. Bondarenko pleaded guilty on April 28, 2008, to four counts related to his criminal activities as a member of the child exploitation enterprise. The charges alleged in these counts included engaging in a child exploitation enterprise; conspiracy to advertise, transport, ship, receive and possess child pornography; advertising child pornography; and receiving child pornography.

Daniel Castleman, Gary Lakey, Marvin Lambert, Neville McGarity and Ronald White were all sentenced to terms of life in prison.

Castleman, Lakey, Lambert and McGarity, a registered sex offender, were all found guilty following a six-day trial on six counts relating to their criminal activities as a member of the child exploitation enterprise. The charges alleged in these counts included engaging in a child exploitation enterprise; conspiracy to advertise, transport, ship, receive and possess child pornography; advertising child pornography; transporting child pornography; receiving child pornography and obstruction of justice.

White was found guilty following trial on four counts relating to his criminal activities as a member of the child exploitation enterprise. The charges alleged in these counts included engaging in a child exploitation enterprise; conspiracy to advertise, transport, ship and possess child pornography; receiving child pornography and obstruction of justice.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Goldberg of the Northern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Lisa Marie Freitas of CEOS. The case is being investigated by the Innocent Images Unit of the FBI and the Queensland, Australia, Police Service, with the assistance of the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) Child Pornography Unit in Germany and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in the United Kingdom.

© Jim Kouri

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Jim Kouri: Click here

More by this author

September 10, 2017
Trump Justice: 'Dreamer' wanted for murder nabbed by feds in NJ and extradited


July 26, 2017
NJ 12-year-old's suicide a plea for cyber-bullying law: GOP candidate Heather Darling


June 12, 2017
Obama hampered law enforcement investigation of Iranian terrorism funding


June 2, 2017
Prez of Young Democrats and Mayor de Blasio staffer busted for kiddie porn; one victim 6-mos. old


May 29, 2017
The conservative approach to taxation and a healthy business climate


May 24, 2017
U.S. intelligence reports warn of cyber "Cold War"


March 3, 2017
Media attack Trump's terrorism expert Dr. Sebastian Gorka


December 23, 2016
Trump's border wall: The bill was passed and signed into law


December 22, 2016
Dem lawmakers demand commission to probe Trump-Russia conspiracy


December 14, 2016
Outraged Vets: VA hospital death touted as proof of Obama and Democrats indifference


More articles

 

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Flashback: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Stone Washington
The political failings of ESG: Why 2024 is the year for policy reform

Jerry Newcombe
Do manners matter anymore?

Victor Sharpe
Passover's gift: The promised and undivided land

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 7: Politicized education

Pete Riehm
Often the dumbest are the most dangerous

Matt C. Abbott
Taking secrets to the grave: Father Kunz murder, 26 years unsolved

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Revelation Chapter 21: A narrative of two cities, exploring the heavenly city

Curtis Dahlgren
'Tis the season for vote buying and lying; smarty pants on fire

Madeline Crabb
The intentional takedown of America: Part two

Jerry Newcombe
The presidents and faith

Michael Bresciani
Trump says he will seek no revenge

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 6: 'An unaware and compliant citizenry'
  More columns

Cartoons


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites