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Founder of Child-Porno Website 'Playpen' Gets 30-Year Imprisonment; Hundreds of Children Rescued

( [email protected] ) May 31, 2017 06:04 PM EDT
The owner of child porn site "Playpen" Steven Chase is sentenced to 30 years behind bars leading to the arrest of 900 website users across the globe and the rescuing of 300 children.
The owner of child porn site "Playpen" Steven Chase is sentenced to 30 years behind bars leading to the arrest of 900 website users across the globe and the rescuing of 300 children. Photo from breitbart.com

A 58-year-old man identified as Steven Chase from Naples, Florida was sentenced to 30-year imprisonment in North Carolina federal courtroom earlier this month for operating a website called "Playpen" containing child pornography and child exploitation contents, which resulted to the arrest of 900 users worldwide.

Chase was arrested last February and "charged with one count of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, one count of advertising child pornography, three counts of transportation of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography," Heather Clark reported. In September, he was "found guilty by a jury trial." The FBI then took over his website after his arrest to track down its users for two weeks.

The FBI investigation, 'Operation Pacifier', started in January 2015 and "hacked and tracked site users by sending malware to their computers" resulting to 1,000 identified users using "its own malware to effectively seize the Playpen website and server". As a result, 350 users from the U.S were taken into custody, along with 548 users from different parts of the world.

The Playpen website's two administrators and co-defendants, Michael Fluckiger, 46, and David Browning, 47, were also identified and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment.

The "sick site" was reported to have 150K website users from across the globe and "allowed pedophiles to upload and view tens of thousands of illicit images of children being sexually abused." More than 300 children were rescued, 55 from the U.S and 296 others from different parts of the world.

Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Criminal Division, General Kenneth Blanco said, "The sentencing of the creator of the Playpen forum along with the identification, apprehension and prosecution of forum members around the country-sends a message that online predators will be caught and prosecuted.

"While identifying and apprehending these criminals can be challenging, it is not impossible, and together with our domestic and foreign partners we will use every legal authority and technical tool we have to root out these predators and protect children from harm."

He said that cases such as this "demands an aggressive, technology-driven response."

Law Enforcement agencies from other countries like the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Israel, Ital, Turkey, Peru, Malaysia, Chile and Ukraine worked hand in hand with the U.S Government to solve the case.

Tags : child porn, child pornography, revenge porn vs. open Internet, child pornography case