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Last updated on Friday, June 8, 2012
(INDIANAPOLIS) - The United States Attorney’s Office announced Thursday the completion of “Operation Bulldog,” a nearly two year-long investigation into an international child pornography ring.
Federal authorities said the discovery and arrest of the members in the ring stemmed from the investigation into a Bloomington, Ind. man who was arrested in November 2010. Authorities said David Bostic possessed and distributed hundreds of images and videos depicting children engaging in sexually explicit acts. Investigators also discovered Bostic produced child pornography, creating images of four minor females, ages 2 months to 3 years old, as well as a 4-year-old male.
Bostic was sentenced to 315 years in prison, one of the longest sentences in Southern District history. After his arrest, authorities determined Bostic was a member of a large group of individuals who allegedly traded pornography depicting children under the age of 5.
A total of nine defendants were prosecuted in Indiana, with four entering guilty pleas Wednesday.
"I applaud the work of the investigators and prosecutors on this case, who took a search warrant in Bloomington and successfully brought to justice defendants from all over the world," said Josh Minkler, First Assistant United States Attorney. "More importantly, as a result of this 18 month operation, more than two dozen children here in Indiana and across the globe have been rescued from their tormentors."
Since the launch of "Operation Bulldog," more than 20 members of the group have been captured. Authorities said all the defendants prosecuted in Indiana have entered guilty pleas or have petitioned the court to enter a guilty plea.
The following nine individuals were charged in Indiana:
Federal authorities said other identified defendants live in Sweden, Serbia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
"This operation uncovered a dangerous and depraved group of criminals who were devoted to trading sexually explicit images of children under the age of five," said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. "As a result of our investigation and prosecution, seven members of the group - including three of the four men who pleaded guilty yesterday - are now serving lengthy prison terms, and two others are awaiting sentencing. Child pornography rings pose a threat to children around the world and we will continue to aggressively pursue those who participate in such groups."
Authorities said more than two dozen children have been rescued as a result of the operation. Investigators are still working to identify additional defendants and victims.
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