Kenyan Child Pornography Producer Sentenced to Life in Prison for Participation in Dreamboard Website
A Kenyan child pornography producer was sentenced late yesterday to life in prison for participating in the Dreamboard child sexual exploitation website, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley of the Western District of Louisiana.
Brian Musomba Maweu, 52, who was extradited from Kenya to the United States in September 2014, pleaded guilty in April 2015 before U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. of the Western District of Louisiana to one count of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise. In addition to serving the prison term, Maweu will be required to register as a sex offender.
In connection with his guilty plea, Maweu admitted that, using the online alias “Catfish,” he posted 121 messages on the Dreamboard website – a private, members-only online bulletin board that promoted pedophilia and encouraged the sexual abuse and exploitation of very young children in an environment designed to avoid detection by law enforcement – including 34 posts containing child pornography that he produced. Maweu was considered a “Super VIP” member of Dreamboard, a designation that was given to members who were prominent on the site and produced their own child pornography.
The prosecution of Maweu was the result of Operation Delego, an investigation launched in December 2009 that targeted individuals around the world for their participation in Dreamboard. A total of 72 individuals, including Maweu, were charged as a result of Operation Delego. To date, 57 of those defendants have been arrested either in the United States or abroad, and 49 have either pleaded guilty or been convicted after trial. Sentences have ranged between five years to life in prison.
The investigation was conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), the Child Exploitation Section of ICE’s Cyber Crime Center, the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), CEOS’ High Technology Investigative Unit, and 35 ICE offices in the United States and 11 ICE attaches offices in 13 countries around the world, with assistance provided by numerous local and international law enforcement agencies across the United States and throughout the world.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Keith Becker of CEOS and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Luke Walker and Michael O’Mara of the Western District of Louisiana. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.justice.gov/psc.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp. Tips may be reported anonymously.