Multiple Child Pornography Rings Shut Down by Michigan Police

Multiple Child Pornography Rings Shut Down by Michigan Police

According to a criminal complaint from the FBI, Seven men have been charged in a pornography ring that took place from 2015 to 2018 in Michigan. The child pornographic distribution ring extended from the Easternmost coasts of the United States of America into Las Vegas, according to federal prosecutors.

Credit: local ABC affiliate WDIO.

According to a report from ABC affiliate WXYZ Detroit, FBI arrested and interviewed a man who was in possession of child pornography and during the interrogations he told FBI agents he was a member of a group of people using the internet to lure minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct via web cam.

In order to entice their “targets” the group of men would pretend to be teenagers and convince female children to visit chat rooms on a specific website.

Once the girls arrived in the chatrooms, the group of men would work together to perform various sexual acts on camera.

According to the report, the men in the chatroom all had the ability to watch and record the girls. Some members distributed the recordings to other people.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider for the Eastern District of Michigan, each of the men had a different role; there were “hunters,” “talkers,” “loopers,” and “watchers.” The “hunters” would visit social media websites to interact with children in order to convince them to log on to a specific chatroom website.

According to the report, the “talkers” would engage with the minors and asked the minors to do “dares,” which escalated into sexual activity.

FBI said if the child was reluctant or became suspicious, a “looper” would play a previously recorded video of a minor actively chatting and performing sexual acts in a chatroom. The “looper” would pretend to be the minor in the video and played the footage in order to try and entice the child in the chatroom to do the same.

“Watchers” were the one in charge of security, watching users that come and go to make sure no law enforcement members accessed the room as well.

Six men were arrested and convicted in the Eastern District of Michigan of charges related to child exploitation enterprise, conspiracy to produce child pornography, online enticement and other child exploitation offenses.

One of the group members was identified as Marc Armbruster, who lives in Idaho, and is facing felony charges of child pornography.

Another was Eric Robinson, 42, who pleaded guilty to producing child pornography. A Michigan judge sentenced him to 34 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release. 

Eric Robinson/ Credit: local ABC affiliate WDIO.

The others are 27-year-old James Theodore Pyle, Indicted on two counts of enticement of a minor, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of receipt of child pornography. He pretended to be a 15-year-old by the name of “Roman Kalhart,” and persuaded “as many as 50 to 70 adolescent boys to send him sexually explicit photos over the internet.

James Theodore Pyle. Credit: local ABC affiliate WDIO.

28-year-old Daniel Jesus Martinez is charged with three counts of engaging in child sexually commercial activity, possession of child sexually abusive material, accosting children for immoral purposes, and using a computer to commit a crime, he is being held on a bond of $300,000.

Daniel Jesus Martinez/ Credit: Adrian Police Department via the Detroit Free Press.

32-year-old Matthew Toole, and his girlfriend, 32-year-old Talia Furman. The couple was arraigned last Friday on horrific charges including the first-degree criminal sexual conduct of a toddler, child abuse of a toddler, sexually abusive activity involving a toddler, and the gross possession of child sexually abusive material. They are being held on a $500,000 bond, where they will are now scheduled to appear before a Magistrate for their preliminary examination on September 5th.

Matthew Toole and Talia Furman

Arrests and raids have since taken place in Las Vegas, Nevada; Springdale, Arkansas; Wappinger Falls, New York; Highland Park, New York; and Portland, Maine; as part of one of the most widespread geographical coverage areas for swatting a pedophile child pornography distribution ring in the United States law enforcement history.

US Attorney Schneider said, “if there is any comfort at all, it is that the victims did not have to endure a trial.”

“It’s helpful, I believe, for the victims when the men plead guilty because then the girls are spared from being victimized all over again by having to testify in a jury trial,” Schneider added.

If you know of any child who may have been a victim of sexual exploitation, please call the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visit the NCMEC’s web site where you can find assistance directly dependent upon the specific case you’re interested in finding information for.

Members of the public who have information about child-sexual predators are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199.

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Report by Pete Andrews for MilneNews.com Feature Image via https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1379713

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