A man was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison and 10 years supervised release pursuant to a jury trial for several charges relating to child pornography. He was arrested following a joint investigation by U.S., Canadian, Australian, South African and local law enforcement, codenamed Operation Subterfuge.
This investigation was part of the larger Project Safe Childhood. This is a special project launched by the Department of Justice in 2006. It was started in response to the explosion of online child exploitation and pornography. The project is a comprehensive attack on these activities, combining law enforcement, advocacy, raising awareness and providing assistance for victims.
This particular individual was linked to two websites. These websites were designed to secretly record webcam videos of minors engaging in sexual acts. They were run by a consortium of individuals who competed to entice and coerce the most children to the site. The joint investigation discovered hundreds of victims in multiple countries connected to these websites.
These individuals created fake online social media accounts and posed as minors and young teenagers to meet their victims. They formed online friendships and eventually lured them to the websites. They would play pre-recorded videos of other minors engaging in sexual activities to convince their victims that they were chatting with other children.
If you are facing child pornography charges, then you should consider speaking to an attorney immediately. These charges are taken very seriously by both state and federal investigators. You could face years in prison and other penalties if you are arrested, not to mention the damage to your reputation.
Source: Department of Justice, "Member of International Child Exploitation Conspiracy Sentences to 21 Years in Prison," Apr. 8, 2016