July 25 2014
– The arrest of a Logan security guard helped expose a global child porn ring involving hundreds of sex predators in more than 15 countries.
The two-year investigation sparked by Brisbane detectives has resulted in 174 alleged pedophiles being charged in countries including Australia, the UK, Canada, France, Russia, Denmark, Brazil, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.
Several children under the age of 10 identified during the course of investigations have “so far been rescued’ by authorities.
Most of the members of the pedophile network are thought to be in the US, where the FBI has made one arrest and is investigating another 110 suspects.
The worldwide crackdown follows a breakthrough by Queensland Taskforce Argos detectives when they raided the Logan home of “a key figure in the network’’ in January 2012.
The 29-year-old Crestmead security guard was charged with seven counts of rape and 16 counts of indecent treatment of children.
Police also allegedly uncovered a sickening stockpile of child pornography on his email account.
“We will allege he was sharing this material with hundreds of offenders around the world, including 111 in the US,’’ Taskforce Argos boss, Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, said.
“We examined all of his online activity and tracked all of his accounts. We identified who he’d sent images to and compiled briefs of evidence that were sent to law enforcement agencies around the world.’’
Acting on that evidence, FBI agents this week moved on one of the alleged US pedophiles, who police claim “communicated’ with the Logan security guard.
Guy Martinez, a 22-year-old from New Mexico, has been charged with possessing, receiving and distributing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
An investigation of Martinez’s Google email account allegedly revealed 1000 child pornography images had been “received, distributed and/or discussed”.
Martinez is also accused of using the account to solicit a 15-year-old boy for sex. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years’ in jail.
Detective Inspector Rouse said: “It’s an outstanding result and we are thankful for the support we received from our partners not only in the US, but around the world.’’
He said it was likely more arrests would be made as the investigation “showed no signs of being closed’’.
“You don’t know how deep a rabbit hole is until you start digging,’’ Detective Inspector Rouse said.
“If the countries involved have the resources to thoroughly complete this kind of investigation, you just don’t know where it is going to lead, or when it is going to finish.’’
– Neil Doorley