Federal child pornography investigation infiltrates Telegram app, results in more than a dozen arrests

“As agents raided the suspect’s home, a video depicting the sexual abuse of an infant was said to have played on the screen.”

“This is not a victimless crime,” emphasized Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary Malvio. Four of the victims were rescued in “real time” and ranged in age from six months to 17 years old. I have.

Who was arrested where?

Arrests in the sweep include Chicago’s Norris “Nick” Stauffer, 27, and at least 16 others. Indictments were filed in Arizona, Wisconsin, Washington DC, California, and South Africa. Nine have already been sentenced to prison, according to a Sun-Times report.

Stauffer’s attorney, Kevin Bolger, denies his client produced child pornography and denies that his case has anything to do with Telegram.

Former Trump administration official and former Turning Point USA employee Adam Hageman among the accused, Arstecnica report. After Hageman was arrested and pleaded guilty to receiving child sexual abuse material in 2020, Hageman gave investigators access to his Telegram group and his chat. That access, in turn, led to charges against a dozen others.

Ars Technica said a homeland security investigation verified the accuracy of all Sun-Times statements.

Ruben Berastighi Former RNC staff are also on the list of defendants.

Defendants reportedly include a boys’ soccer coach, a grocery store employee, an amusement park employee, and the son of a police officer.

Also charged are Raymond Glover, Sebastian Protel, Zachary Marsh, Devin Parrish, Tyler Ehred, Jesus Jimenez Cornejo, Ryan Hoberg, Edgar Martinez, Sean Grenier and Ryan Showwell. , Martinus Gerhardas Lawrence, Quentin Joseph Carvajal.

when did this happen?

The investigation began on June 12, 2020, when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police discovered a child sexual abuse video embedded with geographic data pointing to Arizona. According to Ars Technica, the Sun-Times report is based on “recently unsealed” Cook County Court documents.

How were DHS and HSI involved?

The sweep, called Operation Swipe Left, was the work of a homeland security investigation, The Sun Times reported.

HSI It is the “primary investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” The agency’s mission is to “investigate, disrupt, and dismantle terrorist, transnational, and other criminal organizations.” Child exploitation is one of many international crimes HSI is charged with investigating.

What is Telegram?

telegram is an encrypted cross-platform cloud-based instant messaging app. It launched in October 2013 and now has over 700 million monthly active users, according to the app’s website. This app is available for smartphones, tablets, and computers.

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