Child porn 'club' busted by officials
The FBI announced the indictment of 16 domestic and international suspects in a child pornography ring who are believed to be part of an Internet-based, members-only bulletin board called "Lost Boy."
The various defendants used the names "HarryPotter," "Bottles&Cans," "Undy12" and "WoodenDoll" to post explicit pictures on the Texas-based bulletin board.
Authorities said the men were initiated into the password-protected site by posting graphic photos of child pornography and had to continue posting pictures to maintain access.
"This network was reserved for your most serious traders of child pornography and boy lovers," said U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr.
Birotte said one of the most disturbing items investigators found was a "handbook project," a forum used to groom adult men interested in pursuing boys. Another disturbing find included a picture of a 9-year-old boy with Down syndrome being abused.
The "Lost Boy" group is charged with the "advertisement, transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography," according to a federal indictment.
The defendants, some of whom are from Southern California, include a Phoenix-based pediatric anesthesiologist and a Michigan man who admitted molesting two boys and photographing the abuse.
The initial tip came in October 2008 when European law enforcement officials approached FBI agents in Copenhagen with information that a North Hollywood man had been communicating with a Danish man and an Italian national about how to obtain child pornography and engage in child sex tourism in Romania.
The website began operating as early as Sept. 1, 2007, and was shut down in January 2009.
-- Nardine Saad