WASHINGTON – The fifth defendant charged in relation to an Internet-based child pornography trafficking ring that specialized in images depicting the sexual abuse of young girls was sentenced yesterday to seven years in federal prison, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Andre Birotte Jr.
Kevin Kaller Wright, 44, of Santa Monica, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow.
Wright and four other people have pleaded guilty to being members of the Quest4More Internet bulletin board, whose members “advocated the sexual torture of children,” according to court documents. Quest4More, which was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), was a secret bulletin board that allowed members to post and view pictures and videos, which often depicted very young children, sometimes being tortured or in bondage.
The defendants previously sentenced in this case are:
Michael Pharis, 51, of Las Vegas, was sentenced in December 2010 to 15 years in prison;
Daniel Murphy, 53, of Millville, N.J., was sentenced in March 2011 to 151 months in prison;
Paul Challender, 54 of Big Rapids, Mich., was sentenced in March 2011 to 151 months in prison; and
William Ho, 39, of Hacienda Heights, Calif., was sentenced in March 2011 to 135 months in prison.
All five men charged in this case pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport, receive, distribute and possess child pornography. They all admitted being part of the Quest4More bulletin board, which was used to distribute illegal images and videos depicting prepubescent children, including toddlers, engaged in various sexual and sadistic acts. The group also posted links to other sites with images of child sexual abuse. Law enforcement was alerted to the group following the arrest of one of its members in 2008.
The defendants each made hundreds of posts to the bulletin board. According to court documents, Wright did not post any pictures to the bulletin board, but made more than 400 written posts including commentary on other pictures and requests for additional pictures.
Wright was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release and the four other defendants were sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release following their prison terms.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to
combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov .
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale of the Central District of California, and Trial Attorney LisaMarie Freitas of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. The case was investigated by ICE HSI.