News and commentary on organized crime, street crime, white collar crime, cyber crime, sex crime, crime prevention, crime fiction, espionage and terrorism.
Friday, April 8, 2016
Member Of International Child Exploitation Conspiracy Sentenced To 21 Years In Prison
The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
A member of an international child exploitation conspiracy was sentenced to 21 years in prison today for his participation in two websites that were operated for the purpose of coercing and enticing minors as young as eight years old to engage in sexually explicit conduct on web camera.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia and Section Chief Calvin A. Shivers of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Section (VCACS) made the announcement.
Brian K. Hendrix, 42, of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia, who also ordered Hendrix to serve a 10 year term of supervised release. Hendrix will also be required to register as a sex offender. In January, Hendrix was convicted at trial by a federal jury on child pornography charges. The investigation, Operation Subterfuge, identified more than 300 minor victims in the United States and an estimated 1,600 minor victims were lured to the websites.
According to evidence presented at trial, Hendrix’s co-conspirators created false profiles on social networking sites, such as YouTube, posing as young teenagers to lure children to the websites they controlled. Once children were on the conspirators’ websites, the conspirators, including Hendrix, showed the children pre-recorded videos of prior minor victims, often engaging in sexually explicit conduct, to make the new victims think that they were chatting with another minor. Using these videos, Hendrix and co-conspirators coerced and enticed children to engage in sexually explicit activity on their own web cameras, which the website automatically recorded. Conspirators earned points based on their contribution to the success of website objectives, which allowed them access to the sexually exploitative videos of children. Several of these sexually exploitative videos were found on digital devices belonging to Hendrix. Law enforcement agencies have disabled both websites.
Trial Attorney Lauren Britsch of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Doherty-McCormick of the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case. CEOS Trial Attorney Ravi Sinha assisted with the prosecution.
VCACS special agents led the investigation with the assistance of the FBI’s Operation Rescue Me and the FBI’s Digital Analysis and Research Center. The South Africa Police Service, Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses, Gauteng; Dutch Police Service Agency, KLPD; Royal Canadian Mounted Police, National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre; and the Australian Federal Police, Child Protection Operations, Sydney were active partners in the investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Tennessee contributed to the investigation and the prosecution.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime. He has written extensively about organized crime, street crime, sex crime, cyber crime, drug crime, white collar crime, crime fiction, crime prevention, espionage and terrorism. He is an online columnist and contributing editor to The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International and a regular contributor to the Washington Times. His work has also appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and other print and online publications. Paul Davis has been a student of crime since he was a 12-year-old aspiring writer growing up in South Philadelphia. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy when he was 17 in 1970 and served on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War. He also served two years on the Navy harbor tugboat USS Saugus at the U.S. nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland. He went on to do security work as a Defense Department civilian employee and then became a freelance writer. You can read Paul Davis' Crime Beat columns, crime fiction and magazine and newspaper pieces on this website. You can also read his full bio by clicking on the above photo.