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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lengthy Prison Terms Imposed In International Child Exploitation Case

MISSOULA - In what Montana's United States Attorney has described as a "major victory in the fight against child exploitation", the United States Attorney's Office announced that eleven men have been sentenced for their role in an international child pornography network which was targeted by investigators and prosecutors participating in Operation Kingdom Conqueror. The multi-agency, multi-national effort targeted an online bulletin board advertising and exchanging images of child pornography.

TONY BRONSON, a 53-year-old resident of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced on October 28, 2014 in connection with his April 2014 plea to guilty. Bronson was sentenced to 224 months in prison, 10 years supervised release and $29,859 restitution. In addition, Bronson must forfeit his computers and storage devices.

CHARLES CROSBY, a 43-year-old resident of Trenton, New Jersey, was sentenced on October 23, 2014 in connection with his April 2014 plea to guilty. Crosby was sentenced to 210 months in prison, lifetime supervised release and $29,859 restitution. In addition, Crosby must forfeit his computers and storage devices.

STEVE HUMISTON, a 57-year-old resident of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced on October 23, 2014 in connection with his April 2014 plea to guilty. Humiston received 210 months in prison, lifetime supervised release, $29,859 restitution and a $5,000 fine. In addition, Humiston must forfeit his computers and storage devices.

JOHN JOHNSON, a 58-year-old resident of Locust Grove, Virginia, was sentenced on October 22, 2014 in connection with his April 2014 plea to guilty. Johnson received 180 months in prison, lifetime supervised release, and $29,859 restitution. In addition, Johnson must forfeit his computer and storage device.

ROBERT KRISE, a 66-year-old resident of Gaithersburg, Maryland, was sentenced on October 22, 2014 in connection with his April 2014 plea to guilty. Krise received 180 months in prison, lifetime supervised release, and $29,859 restitution. In addition, Krise must forfeit his computers and hard drives.

SCOTT LONG, a 53-year-old resident of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced on October 21, 2014 in connection with his April 2014 plea to guilty. Long received 200 months in prison, lifetime supervised release, and $29,859 restitution. In addition, Long must forfeit his computer and storage device.

IAN NOSEK, a 42-year-old resident of Charlottesville, Virginia, was sentenced on October 23, 2014 in connection with his April 2014 plea to guilty. Nosek received 216 months in prison, lifetime supervised release, and $29,859 restitution. In addition, Nosek must forfeit his camera and storage devices.

PHILLIP MORRIS, 42-year-old resident of Jeffersonville, Indiana was sentenced on October 22, 2014 in connection with his April 2014 plea to guilty. Morris received 216 months in prison, lifetime supervised release, and $29,859 restitution. In addition, Morris must forfeit his storage devices and cell phone.

JOSEPH PURIFICATO, a 23-year-old resident of Mount Vernon, Missouri was sentenced on October 28, 2014 in connection with his April 2014 plea to guilty. Purificato received 180 months in prison, 10 years supervised release, and $29,859 restitution. In addition, Purificato must forfeit his computers and thumb drive.

PAUL WENCEWICZ, a 48-year-old resident of Polson, Montana, was sentenced on October 21, 2014 in connection with his March 2014 plea to guilty. Wencewicz received 220 months in prison, lifetime supervise release, and $29,859 restitution. In addition, Wencewicz must forfeit his computer and storage devices.

JEFFREY WOOLLEY, a 53-year-old resident of Nicholasville, Kentucky, was sentenced on October 28, 2014 in connection with his April 2014 plea to guilty. Woolley received 180 months in prison, lifetime supervised release, and $29,859 restitution. In addition, Woolley must forfeit his computer and storage devices.

All defendants appeared before and were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy of Missoula.

Two additional defendants, Joshua Peterson, 45, of Prescott, Arizona, and Steven Grovo, 35, of Shirley, Massachusetts, were found guilty of participating in a child exploitation enterprise and a conspiracy to advertise child pornography on October 9, 2014 after a trial. Both men are scheduled to be sentenced on January 22, 2015 in Missoula.

In November 2009, an early participant in the conspiracy designed and created a web-based bulletin board which allowed the board members to share in their common interest in exchanging files online which contained child pornography and non-child pornography images depicting young girls. As the conspiracy progressed, additional members contributed to the design and operations of the board. Between November 6, 2009, through March 19, 2012, members of the conspiracy used the online bulletin board to share pictures and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. During that same time the participants agreed to use the online bulletin board to publish or print notices or advertisements soliciting additional images of child pornography which they would then share and broadcast on the internet.

The lengthy and wide ranging investigation, referred to as Operation Kingdom Conqueror, is an ongoing cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Montana Department of Criminal Investigations, the Helena and Polson Police Departments, the United States Department of Justice - Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Homeland Security Investigations, the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the States of Jersey Police Department, Isle of Jersey, near the United Kingdom.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Mary Rook stated, "I commend the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Montana, U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section and each of the law enforcement agencies who worked on this case for their efforts in bringing justice to the victims. These successes are only possible through the commitment of our law enforcement community to working together to protect the most vulnerable, and prosecute to the full extent those who prey upon our children."

U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter called the sentences "a major victory in the fight against child exploitation. Pedophiles who savage our children through pornography, coercion and exploitation are on notice that when they are caught-and they will be caught-the consequences are dire and law enforcement's tolerance for these crimes non-existent".

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson and Maureen C. Cain with the U.S. Department of Justice, Child Exploitation & Obscenity Section, prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

This case was initiated under the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative which was launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Through a network of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation. It is implemented through partnerships including the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task (or the MT ICAC). The ICAC Task Force Program was created to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by enhancing their investigative response to technology facilitated crimes against children.

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Updated January 14, 2015