Fourteen men, “… have been arrested and charged as part of a conspiracy to operate a child exploitation enterprise.”
“So far, investigators have identified 251 minor victims…,” an official statement said. Most victims were between the ages of 13 and 15; most were male.
“Two victims were 3 years old or younger,” the statement said.
The men are accused of creating fake female profiles online to lure in underage males. According to federal officials the men would convince their male victims to create and share sexually explicit images and videos.
It also said, “The website's primary administrator, Jonathan Johnson, 27, of Abita Springs, La., has been charged with operating a child exploitation enterprise.” Johnson has been in custody since his arrest in the summer of 2013. If convicted he faces at least 20 years – perhaps as much as life in federal prison
Federal officials said the child pornography website was “on the Darknet's Onion Router, also known as Tor.” The effort to stop it was called Operation Round Table.
The statement said, “All victims have been contacted by law enforcement and U.S. victims offered support services from [Department of Homeland Security] victim assistance specialists.”