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Ohio man arrested in takedown of largest darknet child pornography website

Computer Monitor
Computer Monitor(Source: Gray News)
Updated: Oct. 16, 2019 at 2:39 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Hundreds of people across 38 countries were taken into custody during a federal takedown of the largest darknet child pornography website.

Out of the 338 international arrests, 92 of them were in the United States. At least one of the suspects is from Ohio.

According to the Department of Justice, 30-year-old Alex Daniel Paxton was arrested in the Columbus area and indicted in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas for pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

Federal investigators said that the website contained 250,000 videos of child pornographic material. Those videos were then sold to members of the site through bitcoin purchase.

The suspects involved were eventually tracked down through bitcoin transactions, which allowed agents to determine the location of the darknet server and physical location.

“Today’s takedown demonstrates that the Department of Justice remains firmly committed to working closely with our partners in South Korea and around the world to rescue child victims and bring to justice the perpetrators of these abhorrent crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Dozens of minors being abused or exploited for the purpose of the website were rescued during the operation.

“Children around the world are safer because of the actions taken by U.S. and foreign law enforcement to prosecute this case and recover funds for victims,” said U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu.

The alleged operator of the largest child sexual exploitation market by volume of content was also arrested. The South Korean national faces a nine-county indictment.

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