Thank you Secretary Napolitano. Through Operation Delego, we have targeted and dismantled an extremely dangerous criminal enterprise – a global online network that allegedly motivated its members to produce, and exchange, images of extreme child pornography and sexual abuse.
Dreamboard was, according to court documents, a self-described global “community” of pedophiles, dedicated to the relentless victimization and exploitation of children 12 and younger. Words cannot describe how horrific the enterprise’s alleged crimes were.
As alleged, Dreamboard had strict rules and a rigid hierarchy. Its membership was tightly controlled by the group’s administrators. Applicants to the group were required to upload “nude or hard core” child pornography to become members. And members were required to continue posting additional images every 50 days, or risk expulsion. Moreover, members could increase their status based on their level of commitment to the enterprise – from “Member,” to “VIP,” to “Super VIP,” to the most elite status, “Super VIP.” Only those members who produced their own child pornography could be granted the status of “Super VIP.”
Dreamboard was extreme even among online child abuse forums. So-called “super hardcore” images – those depicting adults having violent sexual intercourse with “very young kids” – were highly valued.
To evade detection by law enforcement, all Dreamboard members were allegedly required to employ sophisticated online techniques to make themselves anonymous, such as using proxy servers and encryption programs.
In short, Dreamboard was a living horror. But due to the tireless work of ICE investigators, and our international law enforcement partners such as Eurojust, Europol, and Interpol, and the relentless efforts of prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana, led by my colleague and friend, Stephanie Finley, and by prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, we have dismantled Dreamboard, and arrested dozens of its members and leaders across five continents.
Make no mistake: We will continue our strategy of targeting the most sophisticated child exploitation networks, at home and abroad, and sending the message loud and clear that no matter how savvy online predators think they are, we will find them, dismantle their networks, and bring them to justice. Already, four Dreamboard members have been sentenced to prison terms of between 20 and 30 years, and many more are still to follow.
Thank you. I’ll now turn it over to Director Morton.