Feds rescue 23 abused kids and arrest over 300 pedos

Feds rescue 23 abused kids and arrest over 300 pedos in bust of massive international child porn ring

Federal officials have announced the bust of a massive international child porn ring, resulting in the rescue of 23 child victims and the arrest of more than 300 pedos.

Jong Woo Son, 23, a South Korean national, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington DC for running the site Welcome To Video, prosecutors announced on Wednesday.

Investigators say that the website, which operated on the encrypted Tor network, was the largest single online depot of child sexual exploitation by volume of content.

An additional 337 site users living in the U.S. and other countries were arrested in the sting.

The arrests were made in multiple countries including the UK, Ireland, South Korea, Germany, Spain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, and Canada.

Officials said the operation is responsible for the rescue of at least 23 minor victims residing in the U.S., Spain and the UK, who were being actively abused by the users of the site.

‘Darknet sites that profit from the sexual exploitation of children are among the most vile and reprehensible forms of criminal behavior,’ said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

In the U.S., the criminal investigative arms of the Internal Revenue Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement collaborated on the investigation.

According to the indictment, Welcome to Video was launched on the Darknet in June 2015.

Undercover investigators say that the site’s upload page had the instruction ‘Do not upload adult porn over the age of 15.’

The site hosted more than 200,000 videos of sickening child abuse, including the rape of infants and toddlers, the indictment said.

Users would purchase videos with ‘points’, which they could earn by uploading new videos, referring new users, or simply paying with bitcoin.

Prosecutors say that Son was the administrator of the site, which raked in some $370,000 in bitcoin payments between 2015 and 2018.

The site’s users downloaded child exploitation videos more than one million times in the same time period, according to court documents.

Son is currently serving an 18-month sentence in South Korea, and U.S. authorities are expected to seek his extradition to face justice in America.

The Welcome To Video site first came to the attention of law enforcement in June 2017, when police in the UK arrested Cambridge graduate Matthew Falder (pictured below), a geophysicist from an affluent family who led a secret life trading images of child sex abuse.

Falder later admitted 137 offenses, including voyeurism, encouraging child rape, and sharing images showing the abuse of a newborn baby, and has been jailed for 25 years.




The National Crime Agency, Britain’s equivalent of the FBI, found a link to the Welcome To Video website on Falder’s computer, and launched a joint investigation with authorities in the U.S., Germany and elsewhere.

In the U.S., agents with the IRS and Homeland Securing Investigations, a division of ICE, began the meticulous work of tracking the website’s operator.

As investigators investigated the website’s source code, they discovered two occasions where the IP address of the server had not been fully concealed.

Those two IP addresses were traced to a service provider in South Korea, and were registered to an account at Son’s address, according to the indictment.

Meanwhile, IRS investigators were also able to track payments made by undercover agents to the Welcome To Video bitcoin account.

The payments were tracked through to a wallet account that Son held with a bitcoin exchange, where he had to register with his name and contact information in order to convert the bitcoin

A warrant was issued for Son’s arrest by a U.S. federal magistrate judge in February 2018.

On March 5, 2018, agents from the IRS-CI, HSI, the UK’s NCA, and Korean National Police in South Korea arrested Son and seized the server used to operate Welcome To Video.

Using a sophisticated analysis of bitcoin transactions, which are recorded on the public blockchain, the investigators were also able to backtrace many of the payments to the website and unmask its users.

Hundreds of arrests followed around the world in the following months.

Two users of the Darknet market committed suicide subsequent to the execution of search warrants.

The operation resulted in the seizure of approximately eight terabytes of child sexual exploitation videos, which is one of the largest seizures of its kind, officials said.

The files included over 250,000 unique videos and 45 percent of the videos contain new images that have not been previously known to law enforcement.

Analysis of the files led to the identification of some of the abused children, 23 of whom have been located and rescued so far.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is currently in the process of analyzing thousands of more videos, in hope of identifying and rescuing the child victims they depict.




LIST OF AMERICAN NATIONALS AND RESIDENTS CHARGED IN INTERNATIONAL CHILD PORN RING:

  • Charles Wunderlich, 34, of Hot Springs, California, was charged in the District of Columbia with conspiracy to distribute child pornography;
  • Brian James LaPrath, 34, of San Diego, California, was arrested in the District of Columbia, for international money laundering; and was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release;
  • Ernest Wagner, 70, of Federal Way, Washington, was arrested and charged in the District of Columbia with conspiracy to distribute child pornography;
  • Vincent Galarzo, 28, of Glendale, New York, was arrested and charged in the District of Columbia with conspiracy to distribute child pornography;
  • Michael Ezeagbor, 22, of Pflugerville, Texas, was arrested and charged in the District of Columbia with conspiracy to distribute child pornography;
  • Nicholas Stengel, 45, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography and money laundering and was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release;
  • Eryk Mark Chamberlin, 25, of Worcester, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and is pending sentencing;
  • Jairo Flores, 30, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in the District of Massachusetts to receipt and possession of child pornography and was sentenced to serve five years in prison followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Billy Penaloza, 29, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in the District of Massachusetts to possession and receipt of child pornography. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019;
  • Michael Armstrong, 35, of Randolph, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in the District of Massachusetts, to receipt and possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to serve five years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. Restitution will be determined at a future date;
  • Al Ramadhanu Soedomo, 28, of Lynn, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and was sentenced in the District of Massachusetts (Boston), to serve 12 months and one day followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Phillip Sungmin Hong, 24, of Sharon, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in the District of Massachusetts (Boston), to receipt and possession of child pornography and is pending sentencing;
  • Eliseo Arteaga Jr., 28, of Mesquite, Texas, pleaded guilty in the Northern District of Texas to possession of prepubescent child pornography. He is pending sentencing;
  • Richard Nikolai Gratkowski, 40, of San Antonio, Texas, a former HSI special agent, was arrested in the Western District of Texas. Gratkowski pleaded guilty to the indictment charging one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of access with intent to view child pornography. Gratkowski was sentenced to serve 70 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $35,000 in restitution to seven victims and a $10,000 assessment;
  • Paul Casey Whipple, 35, of Hondo, Texas, a U.S. Border Patrol Agent, was arrested in the Western District of Texas, on charges of sexual exploitation of children/minors, production, distribution, and possession of child pornography. Whipple remains in custody awaiting trial in San Antonio;
  • Michael Lawson, 36, of Midland, Georgia, was arrested in the Middle District of Georgia on charges of attempted sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to serve 121 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release following his plea to a superseding information charging him with one count of receipt of child pornography;
  • Kevin Christopher Eagan, 39, of Brookhaven, Georgia, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in the Northern District of Georgia;
  • Casey Santioius Head, 37, of Griffin, Georgia, was indicted in the Northern District of Georgia for distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography;
  • Andrew C. Chu, 28, of Garwood, New Jersey, was arrested and charged with receipt of child pornography. Those charges remain pending;
  • Nader Hamdi Ahmed, 29 of Jersey City, New Jersey, was arrested in the District of New Jersey, for sexual exploitation or other abuse of children. Ahmed pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of distribution of child pornography. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 1, 2019;
  • Jeffrey Lee Harris, 32, of Pickens, South Carolina, pleaded guilty in the District of South Carolina for producing, distributing, and possessing child pornography;
  • Laine Ormand Clark Jr., 27, of Conway, South Carolina, was arrested and charged in U.S. District Court in South Carolina Division for sexual possession of child pornography;
  • Jack R. Dove III, 38, of Lakeland, Florida, was arrested in the Middle District of Florida for knowingly receiving and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct;
  • Michael Matthew White, 39, of Miami Beach, Florida, was arrested in the Southern District of Florida for coercion and enticement;
  • Nikolas Bennion Bradshaw, 24, of Bountiful, Utah, was arrested in the State of Utah, and charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, and was sentenced to time served with 91 days in jail followed by probation;
  • Michael Don Gibbs, 37, of Holladay, Utah, was charged in the District of Utah with receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography;
  • Ammar Atef H. Alahdali, 22, of Arlington, Virginia, pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia to receipt of child pornography and was sentenced to serve five years in prison and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution;
  • Mark Lindsay Rohrer, 38, of West Hartford, Connecticut, pleaded guilty in the District of Connecticut to receipt of child pornography and was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Eugene Edward Jung, 47, of San Francisco, California, was indicted in the Northern District of California on possession of child pornography and receipt of child pornography;
  • James Daosaeng, 25, of Springdale, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and was sentenced in the Western District of Arkansas (Fayetteville) to serve 97 months in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release;
  • Alex Daniel Paxton, 30, of Columbus, Ohio, was arrested and indicted in Franklin County Ohio Court of Common Pleas for pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor;
  • Don Edward Pannell, 32, of Harvey, Louisiana, pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Louisiana for receipt of child pornography. He is pending sentencing;
  • Ryan Thomas Carver, 29, of Huntsville, Alabama, was arrested and charged under Alabama State Law. He was charged federally in the Northern District of Alabama with possession of child pornography. His case is pending in Huntsville, Alabama;
  • Mohammed Almaker, 26, of Fort Collins, Colorado, was arrested in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), charged with KSA Law involving the endangerment of children. He is awaiting judicial proceedings in furtherance of criminal charges.

Milne News is committed to bringing you the facts raw, real and truthfully. No BS.

Every contribution, big or small, counts. Help us keep reporting the truth that other media won’t, and bring you what’s really happening in our world. Your contribution will help us continue the great work we do and stay online. Any donation is greatly appreciated:





or  make a donation via Stripe (CREDIT CARDS ETC, NO SIGN UP REQUIRED): 

Paypal accepts: Paypal balance as well as  all major credit cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

Via Stripe:  any kind of credit or debit card:  Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club. (NO SIGN UP REQUIRED)

Thank you for your support.

Also, get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox for free every day by signing up below.

Having problems finding a source for real news links in real time, click on Whatfinger.com. Visit, bookmark and share this resource and then tell your friends and family.