Huntsville man pleads guilty to possessing thousands of child porn, bestiality images

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A Huntsville man pled guilty Thursday, Nov. 14, to possessing thousands of images of child pornography.

Ryan Thomas Carver, 29 of Huntsville, was charged with possession of child pornography, including images of prepubescent children, bondage, and bestiality. Back on March 5, 2018, federal investigators found 3,102 identified photos of child pornography, 162 identified videos of child pornography, and 45 identified victims.

According to the plea agreement, an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) recovered records showing that Carver paid Bitcoin, a virtual currency, and used the dark web to access a website used for the distribution of child pornography.

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He is scheduled for sentencing on March 13, 2020. 

“HSI and its law enforcement partners are committed to protecting those among us that are the most vulnerable,” said James Hernandez, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Alabama. “HSI uses all of the tools and technology available to ensure that criminals find no refuge in the Darknet.”

The investigation that ensnared Carver was part of an international investigation into Welcome To Video, the largest child sexual exploitation Darknet marketplace by volume of content, that authorities seized in March 2018 in an operation spanning three continents. Authorities seized approximately eight terabytes of child sexual exploitation videos, one of the largest seizures of its kind. The authorities have shared data about the site’s users with law enforcement agencies throughout the world.

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The Darknet site had users across the United States and throughout the world, including at least 53 individuals in the United States. According to a press release by the Department of Justice, the site provided child sexual exploitation videos to users in 24 states, including Alabama, as well as the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Brazil, and Australia who have now been arrested and charged.

HSI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan S. Keim is prosecuting, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

             
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