ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An investigation carried out by Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. discipline workplace resulted in convictions of 4 males for his or her involvement in a web-based little one exploitation community. A federal court docket convicted Christopher William Kuehner, 38, of Bremerton, Washington, Tuesday, whereas co-defendants, Jacob Royce Mullins, 20, of South Webster, Ohio; Kyle William Leishear, 43, of Bayonet Level, Florida; and Matthew Martin, 25, of Lancaster, Wisconsin pleaded responsible to their roles within the enterprise.
Based on the HSI Washington, D.C. investigation, from round September to December 2020, Kuehner, Mullins, Leishear, and Martin have been distinguished members of an web web site titled “Rapey.su.” The web site was devoted to, amongst different issues, little one sexual exploitation.
After changing into a member of the web site, Kuehner repeatedly induced and enticed minor ladies to supply little one sexual abuse materials for each him and the opposite members of the web site.
“The actions of the 4 defendants on this case are nothing wanting reprehensible,” mentioned Performing Particular Agent in Cost Derek W. Gordon of HSI Washington, D.C. “They shamefully focused probably the most susceptible members of our neighborhood for their very own perverse needs. Defending kids from abuse and holding these people who would victimize minors accountable is one thing HSI Washington, D.C. stays enthusiastic about. We’re all the time watching intently for indicators of kid exploitation all through our communities.”
Particular brokers from HSI Washington, D.C. discipline workplace seized and shut down the web site in December 2020.
The investigation yielded a further arrest final 12 months. A federal court docket within the Jap District of Virginia (EDVA) convicted Ashley Kolhoff, 22, of Port Clinton, Ohio of manufacturing of kid pornography for her participation on the Rapey.su web site.
Different customers across the nation have been efficiently prosecuted in state and federal courts for offenses dedicated on the web site.
Kuehner, Mullins, and Martin every face obligatory minimal sentences of 20 years in jail when sentenced on April 25, as does Leishear when he’s sentenced on Might 9.
The investigation was carried out by HSI Washington, D.C. with important help from the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for EDVA.
This case was introduced as a part of Mission Secure Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in Might 2006 to fight the rising epidemic of kid sexual exploitation and abuse. Mission Secure Childhood marshals federal, state, and native assets to higher find, apprehend, and prosecute people who exploit kids by way of the web, in addition to to determine and rescue victims.
Anybody with data concerning little one exploitation is inspired to offer their tricks to regulation enforcement. Homeland Safety Investigations has a nationwide tipline that members of the general public can name to report what they know. You may attain HSI at 1-866-DHS-2423. The HSI tipline is manned 24 hours a day.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS, chargeable for investigating transnational crime and threats, particularly these felony organizations that exploit the worldwide infrastructure by which worldwide commerce, journey, and finance transfer. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 staff consists of greater than 6,800 particular brokers assigned to 225 cities all through the USA, and 93 abroad places in 56 international locations. HSI’s worldwide presence represents DHS’s largest investigative regulation enforcement presence overseas and one of many largest worldwide footprints in U.S. regulation enforcement.