WASHINGTON – Two defendants were sentenced today to prison in connection with a series of superseding indictments charging 26 individuals for their participation in an online child pornography conspiracy, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Timothy M. Morrison of the Southern District of Indiana.
Roger Lee Loughry Sr., 57, of Baltimore, Md., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William T. Lawrence in the Southern District of Indiana to 30 years in prison for his role as an administrator of an online bulletin board. On April 15, 2010, Loughry was convicted by a federal jury in the Southern District of Indiana following a four-day trial. Loughry was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to advertise child pornography, one count of conspiracy to distribute child pornography, 12 counts of advertising child pornography and two counts of distributing child pornography.
Evidence presented at trial revealed that Loughry had been an active member of the child pornography bulletin board since November 2005 and had participated in numerous administrative functions on the online board during his membership, including adding new members to the board. In addition, evidence introduced at trial established that Loughry’s home was searched in September 2008, at which time computers and computer media were seized. According to trial evidence, upon review of the seized materials, investigators discovered images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of minors, including videos in which adult males were engaged in sexual intercourse with prepubescent girls.
Charles Trull, 43, of Carterville, Ill., was sentenced today by Judge Lawrence to 19 years in prison for his role in the child pornography conspiracy. Trull pleaded guilty on April 7, 2010, to one count of conspiracy to advertise child pornography, one count of conspiracy to distribute child pornography, and two counts of advertising child pornography before Judge Lawrence in Indianapolis. During the sentencing hearing, the government presented testimony showing that Trull produced child pornography involving a minor girl over a three-year period while she was only 13 to 15 years of age. Trull then sent multiple images of her to numerous members of several internet bulletin boards trafficking in child pornography.
Loughry and Trull also were sentenced to lifetime supervised release following their respective prison terms.
The charges against Loughry, Trull and 24 co-defendants are a result of “Operation Nest Egg,” an ongoing and joint investigation led by the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Operation Nest Egg, launched in February 2008, targeted 26 defendants charged in the Southern District of Indiana, as well as approximately 500 additional individuals located throughout the world for their involvement in an online group dedicated to trading images of child pornography.
According to court documents filed in the Southern District of Indiana, the 26 co-conspirators participated in a sophisticated, password-protected Internet bulletin board group, which existed to allow members to meet like-minded individuals with a sexualized interest in children, to discuss that interest and to trade images of child pornography. The defendants are charged with conspiring to advertise and distribute child pornography, along with substantive counts of advertising and distributing child pornography. Twenty-two of the 26 defendants charged in the conspiracy have been arrested. Twenty of the 22 individuals arrested have been convicted or have pleaded guilty. Fifteen of the 20 individuals who have pleaded guilty for their role in the conspiracy have been sentenced to prison on previous dates.
Four of the 26 individuals charged in the conspiracy remain at large and are known only by their online identities. Efforts to identify and apprehend these four individuals continue.
To date, as a result of Operation Nest Egg, more than 80 searches have been conducted in the United States. In total, more than 50 individuals have been arrested and 40 individuals have been convicted. The investigation is ongoing. Numerous members of the Internet-based bulletin board were found to have been personally sexually abusing children. For example, lead administrator Delwyn Savigar of the United Kingdom was identified and arrested in partnership with the U.K.’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, for his involvement in the conspiracy. After his initial arrest, Savigar was identified through DNA testing as the perpetrator of a previously unsolved sexual assault against a minor female in Great Britain, to which he pleaded guilty. Following this discovery, Savigar was linked to additional incidents of sexual assaults. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to either abusing or attempting to abuse three minors from 1999 to 2002. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison in the United Kingdom. To date, 16 child victims have been identified through Operation Nest Egg.
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 via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. DeBrota of the Southern District of Indiana, Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia and former CEOS Trial Attorney Elizabeth M. Yusi and CEOS Trial Attorney Alecia Riewerts Wolak. The investigation was conducted jointly by CEOS’ High Technology Investigative Unit, USPIS and ICE, with assistance provided by the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce, Indiana State Police, and numerous local and international law enforcement agencies across the United States and Europe.