Police smashed a global Internet pedophile ring, rescuing 31 children and rounding up more than 700 suspects world-wide, authorities said Monday, June 16, 2007. At least four men were located in the United States.
"Any individual who thinks they carry out such horrific activities undetected is in for a very rude awakening," said Jim Gamble, chief executive at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center and chairman of the Virtual Global Taskforce.
The investigation involved agencies from 35 countries and lasted 10 months.
Police rescued 31 children, some of them as young as a few months. More than 15 of the children were in Britain. Some 200 suspects are based in Britain, the center said. The ring was traced to an Internet chat room called "Kids the Light of Our Lives" that featured images of children being subjected to horrific sexual abuse.
The host of the Web site, Timothy David Martyn Cox, 27 years old, of Buxhall, who used the online identity "Son of God," admitted to nine counts of possessing and distributing indecent images, authorities said. After his arrest in September, authorities were able to infiltrate the chat room and collect evidence on the other members.