10 Men Sentenced: Child Exploitation Enterprise Over 170 Known Victims
10 men from around the country have been sentenced for participating in a child pornography enterprise and conspiracy,
According to court documents, these defendants utilized chatrooms on the online service “Discord” to produce and exchange child pornography. These chatrooms were accessed by invitation only. Those who gained access to the chatrooms actively worked together to identify social media platforms and profiles of minor females, including girls as young as 10 years old and strategized regarding how to convince the children to engage in sexually explicit activity via live web camera.
The group targeted live-streaming video chat applications such as Live.Me, Periscope, YouNow, Kik, Musically, and Snapchat to target and entice the minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct. “The defendants collaborated in a sophisticated conspiracy to deceive, manipulate, and extort hundreds of unsuspecting and vulnerable children, tricking them into creating sexually explicit content by posing as their peers on live-streaming video chat applications”
- Andrew Dowdle, aka “Chigger,” 48, of Oswego, New York, was sentenced to 16 years in prison, followed by 15 years supervised release.
- Carl Masters, aka “Harmon,” 45, of Lawrence, Kansas, was sentenced to 27 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release.
- Ric Crossfield, aka “Officer Branner,” 25, of Jamaica, New York, was sentenced to 14 years in prison, followed by 40 years supervised release.
- Christian Brennan, aka “Choad,” 46, of Puyallup, Washington, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by 10 years supervised release.
- Sharif El-Battouty, aka “Fritos,” 39, of Woodside, New York, was sentenced to 30 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release.
- Jarrett Lea, aka “Toot,” 27, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was sentenced to 17 years in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release.
- David Minnichelli, aka “Davis,” 30 of Califon, New Jersey, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release.
- Marqueal Bonds, aka “The Goat,” 22, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 22 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release.
- Timothy Friel, aka “JJChuck,” 40 of Penndel, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, followed by 15 years supervised release.
- Cory Crosby, aka “The 191,” 39, of Tacoma, Washington, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release.
“In order to ensure themselves a steady supply of new child pornography, these predators conspired to befriend, manipulate, and sexually exploit scores of minors online,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “The defendants thought they could hide behind fake names and handles and continue their violations with impunity. The FBI is proud to have fully unmasked them, shut them down, and brought them to justice.”
While pretending to be minor boys and girls, the defendants streamed pre-recorded videos of other underage minors engaging in similar conduct to the targeted victims in an effort to get the minors to believe they were watching a live video of someone their own age. The victims were unaware that they were communicating with adult men who were recording their sexually explicit activity. After successfully recording a victim, the defendants shared the sexually explicit videos with each other by uploading the files to file-storage sites and placing a link to download the file on a section of their members-only chatroom.