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Spain breaks up child pornography ring

| December 2, 2008 at 07:34 pm

MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish police said on Monday they had arrested 40 people in raids across the country to break up a file-sharing child pornography network.

The Civil Guard said in a statement that officers had conducted searches in 51 towns, confiscating computers containing 1,350 gigabytes of child pornography, as well as 25,000 photographs and 9,000 videos.

One of those arrested is suspected of distributing and posting pedophile images on the Internet. Another 35 people have been charged with forming part of the network.

The investigation began in February, after a computer user reported that he had accidentally accessed a network sharing pornographic photographs.

This was the biggest operation of its type in Spain since police swooped on 121 suspects in a child pornography raid on October 1.

(Reporting by Elena Massa; Writing by Martin Roberts; Editing by Charles Dick)

San Diego man sentenced to 11 years in prison for traveling to Colorado to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor

| at 07:17 pm

DENVER – A man from San Diego, Calif., was sentenced Monday to more than 11 years in federal prison for traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Troy Eid, District of Colorado, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Copp.

Georges Najjar, 33, was charged by Criminal Complaint on March 17, and indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on April 8. He pleaded guilty before then Chief U.S. District Court Judge Edward W. Nottingham on July 29.

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock sentenced Najjar to serve 135 months in prison on Nov. 24. Najjar was also ordered to spend five years on supervised release, and must register as a sex offender. Judge Babcock ordered Najjar, a national of Beirut, Lebanon, to be taken into custody immediately to begin serving his prison sentence. After he completes his prison sentence, ICE will place Najjar into deportation proceedings.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on Jan. 29 an ICE special agent, acting in an undercover capacity, was on line in an Internet Relay Chatroom, where she observed an internet post made by an unknown male. The post stated that the man was interested in “sponsoring” a mother and her children. The ICE agent posed as a 27-year old single mother of two with a 4-year old girl and a 5-year old boy. The male, later identified as Najjar, chatted via the internet and talked on the phone with the undercover agent many times. During those chats and calls, Najjar stated that he was looking for a physical relationship with the woman as well as her children. Najjar further stated that he was in training to be a school teacher. (more…)