WASHINGTON – Billy Wade Carroll, 51, of Dayton, Ohio, was found guilty today in U.S. District Court in Riverside, Calif., for his participation in an online child pornography bulletin board, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge Steve Martinez of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.
A federal jury in the Central District of California found Carroll guilty of one count of conspiracy to advertise, solicit, transport, distribute, receive and possess child pornography and one count of committing a child pornography offense while being required to register as a sex offender in Ohio.
Today’s conviction is the result of an international investigation into the “Lost Boy” online bulletin board. Federal authorities, working in conjunction with a coalition of international law enforcement agencies, shut down the Lost Boy bulletin board more than two years ago. As a result of the investigation, 16 U.S. members of the bulletin board have been identified, charged and arrested for their roles in the bulletin board and to date, 15 of those defendants, including Carroll, have been convicted.
Evidence presented at trial established that from at least September 2007 until January 2009, Carroll was an active member of the bulletin board and made more than 100 posts. He supplied images of child pornography for other members to download and also made requests on the board seeking out particular images to help supplement his child pornography collection.
The Lost Boy bulletin board, according to court documents and proceedings, was dedicated to men who have a sexual interest in young boys and was established to provide a forum to trade child pornography. Lost Boy had a thorough vetting process for new members, who were required to post child pornography to join the organization. Once accepted, members had to continue to post child pornography to remain in good standing and not be removed from the board. According to court documents, Lost Boy members advised each other on techniques to evade detection by law enforcement, which included using screen names to mask identities and encrypting computer data.
According to court documents and proceedings, law enforcement authorities discovered the Lost Boy bulletin board after receiving information from Eurojust, a judicial agency of the European Union (EU) facilitating the coordination of investigations and prosecutions among EU member states. Eurojust provided U.S. law enforcement with leads obtained from Norwegian and Italian authorities indicating that a North Hollywood, Calif., man was communicating with an Italian national about child pornography and how to engage in child sex tourism in Romania. Acting on the information from Europe, the FBI executed search warrants that led to the discovery of the Lost Boy network. Further investigation revealed that Lost Boy had 35 members, 16 of whom were U.S. nationals. Other members of the network were located in countries around the world, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
In addition to the charges against the 16 U.S. members of the bulletin board, the Lost Boy investigation has led to the identification and arrest of six other individuals who allegedly engaged in child molestation. The investigation also led to the identification of 27 U.S. victims of child abuse, some of whom were portrayed in images posted to the Lost Boy bulletin board.
International law enforcement efforts involving European law enforcement, the Brazilian Federal Police and other agencies have identified child molestation suspects in South America, Europe and New Zealand. Three suspects in Romania, one in France and another in Brazil have been charged, and offenders have been convicted in Norway and the United Kingdom. Law enforcement efforts have also identified dozens of child victims located in Norway, Romania, Brazil and other nations.
The investigation into the Lost Boy bulletin board was led by the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, in conjunction with the Los Angeles-based Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Team. The High Technology Investigative Unit of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), along with Eurojust, have provided invaluable assistance during the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joey L. Blanch and Yvonne Garcia of the Central District of California and Trial Attorney Andrew McCormack of the Criminal Division’s CEOS.