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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Friday, January 8, 2016

Federal Jury Convicts Member of International Child Exploitation Conspiracy

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Brian K. Hendrix, 42, of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, was convicted today by a federal jury on child pornography charges relating to his participation in two websites that were operated for the purpose of coercing and enticing minors, as young as eight years old, to engage in sexually explicit conduct on web camera. 

An estimated 1,600 minors were lured to the websites. During the investigation, named Operation Subterfuge, the FBI identified more than 300 minor victims in the United States, and the RCMP National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre identified 43 minor victims in Canada.

Hendrix was charged by superseding indictment on July 23, 2015.  Eight co-conspirators were charged in the Eastern District of Virginia, while two other co-conspirators were charged in foreign countries.

According to court records and evidence at trial, co-conspirators created false profiles on social networking sites, such as YouTube, that portrayed them as young teenagers.  They used these profiles to lure children to the websites they controlled.  Once on the conspirators’ websites, the conspirators played pre-recorded videos of prior minor victims, often engaging in sexually explicit conduct, to make the new victims think that they were chatting with another minor.  Using these videos, conspirators coerced and enticed children to engage in sexually explicit activity on their own web cameras which the website automatically recorded.   Based on their contribution to the success of website objectives, conspirators earned points, which allowed them access to the sexually exploitative videos of children.  Law enforcement agencies have disabled both websites.

In addition to Hendrix, the conspirators have been convicted and sentenced as follows:

Name, Age, Hometown


Anthony Evans, 54, Grahamstown, South Africa

Pleaded guilty in South Africa and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on May 29, 2015.  An extradition request remains pending.

William J. Morgan, 36, Essex, New York

Pleaded guilty June 26, 2015. Sentenced to 21 years in prison on Sept. 18, 2015.

Milton Smith, Jr., 34, Lorton, Virginia

Pleaded guilty Aug. 14, 2015. Sentencing scheduled for Jan. 22, 2016.

James E. Hancock, 45, Thomasville, Georgia

Pleaded guilty Dec. 29, 2015. Sentencing scheduled for April 1, 2016.

Christopher McNevin, 37, Carlisle, Ohio

Pleaded guilty Aug. 21, 2015. Sentenced to 19 years in prison on Dec. 4, 2015.

Brian K. Hendrix, 42, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee

Convicted by jury on Jan. 8, 2016.  Sentencing scheduled for April 8, 2016.

Carl Zwengel, 51, Princeton, Illinois

Pleaded guilty on July 10, 2015. Sentenced to 18 years in prison on Oct. 2, 2015.

Karlo Hitosis, 32, Bronx, New York

Pleaded guilty on October 30, 2015.  Sentencing scheduled for Feb. 5, 2016.

Stephen Funk, 35, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Pleaded guilty on Dec. 18, 2015.  Sentencing scheduled for March 25, 2016.


Hendrix faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when sentenced on April 8, 2016.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Leslie R. Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Calvin Shivers, Section Chief, FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Section, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Doherty-McCormick and Trial Attorney Lauren Britsch with the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice prosecuted the case. Trial Attorney Ravi Sinha, with the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, assisted with the prosecution. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided assistance.

Violent Crimes Against Children Section special agents led the investigation with the assistance of other VCACS special agents, the FBI’s Operation Rescue Me, the Digital Analysis and Research Center, and the Office of Victim Assistance. The South Africa Police Service, Family Violence, Child Protection, and Sexual Offenses, Gauteng; Royal Canadian Mounted Police, National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre; the Dutch Police Service Agency, KLPD, and the Australian Federal Police, Child Protection Operations, Sydney all worked closely with VCACS and were active partners in Operation Subterfuge, a multinational investigation coordinated by members of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children International Task Force.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, identified 43 victims as part of the operation.  The U.S. Attorney’s Offices and FBI offices in the Middle District of Georgia, Southern District of New York, Northern District of New York, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Middle District of Tennessee, Central District of Illinois and Southern District of Ohio, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also contributed to the investigation and prosecution.

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 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

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:15-cr-172; 1:15-cr-42.

Updated February 4, 2016