Massachusetts Fire Department Lieutenant Edward Parson was sentenced on July 14:
Another sick and twisted case
April 2017 DOJ press release:
According to admissions made in connection with the plea agreements, members of the group created false profiles on social networking and video sites popular with children posing as young teenagers to lure children to two websites they controlled.
Parson and Cortez admitted that they showed the children who came to the website pre-recorded videos of prior minor victims, often engaging in sexually explicit conduct, to convince those children that they were chatting live with another minor.
Parson and Cortez further admitted that they used these videos to coerce and entice the children to engage in sexually explicit activity on their own web cameras, which could be viewed live by multiple adult members without the victim’s knowledge. Further, Parson and Cortez admitted that these videos were automatically recorded and made available for later download.
Parsons and Cortez also admitted that the websites ranked the efforts of members to successfully lure children to the website and to coerce and entice them to engage in sexually explicit conduct on live web camera. Law enforcement agencies have disabled both websites.
An estimated 1,500 minors were lured to the websites. During the investigation, known as Operation Subterfuge, the FBI identified 357 minor victims in the United States, and Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre identified 43 minor victims in Canada. The FBI’s efforts to identify victims are ongoing.
Edward Parson, 46, Chicopee, Massachusetts
Springfield, MA Fire Department Lieutenant
Anthony Ronald Evans, 54, of Grahamstown, South Africa
Owner of a guest house/bed & breakfast near the University of Grahamstown
William J. Morgan, 36, of Essex, New York
Essex Town Clerk and Tax Collecter
Jeffery Van Dyke, 46, of Weed, California
The complaint states he told another suspect he was a
former member of the United States Army, worked in the construction business, and was an assistant coach with the local high school football team.
Carl Zwengel, 51, of Princeton, Illinois
Employment unknown to me:
Allan Cortez, 34, Wichita, Kansas
Milton Smith, Jr., 34, of Lorton, Virginia
Christopher McNevin, 37, of Carlisle, Ohio
Karlo Hitosis, 32, of Bronx, New York
Stephen Funk, 35, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
James E. Hancock, 45, of Thomasville, Georgia
Brian K. Hendrix, 42, of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
Discovery of the criminal conspiracy
In 2013, Neil Malherbe, principal of Penryn Preparatory school in South Africa, former boarding house master, award-winning children's book author, and host of a function for abused children, was detected ordering CSA materials (a.k.a. CP) online.
This investigation led to other perpetrators, including Anthony Ronald Evans, who turned out to be the administrator of the site(s) in the DOJ case (above.)
Anthony Evans worked with 20 to 30 others including from the U.S., Russia, and Scandinavia.
600 of the child victims were from the U.S. and most of the other victims were from Canada and the Netherlands.