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Man Who Allegedly Ran Child Porn Site Now On US Soil

Hundreds of American customers already arrested during years-long AG investigation

A Ukrainian man who authorities said ran an online child pornography site featuring horrific images and video is in US custody today after losing a three-year extradition battle, the US Attorney’s office said at a press conference in Newark.

Maksym Shynkarenko, 33, was brought to America this weekend from Thailand, where he had been in custody since 2009 after being arrested while on vacation. A 32-count indictment states Shynkarenko founded a Ukraine-based site with thousands of customers across the world, including nearly 600 American men, 30 of whom are from New Jersey.

Shynkarenko was expected to appear in Newark federal court today.

“He may be the most significant distributor of child pornography ever prosecuted in the United States, and the investigation which led to this achievement has been the most successful national child pornography investigation to date,” US Attorney Paul Fishman said at a press conference this afternoon.

Shynkarenko’s US arrest marks the latest step in an investigation that began in October 2005, when law enforcement discovered emails from a Long Branch man who had been the target of a separate child pornography investigation. Authorities declined to release additional information about the man today.

The emails led investigators to a website titled “Illegal.CP.,” where viewers were invited to join what was described as “the best child porn site on the net!” An agent from the Newark office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), posing as a subscriber, soon afterwards bought a 20-day subscription for $79.99. The site advised users that they could possibly avoid prosecution by using credit cards, because “it is very difficult to establish you were the person to pay.”

The site, which featured video as well as images, went by a variety of names, including “Dirty Nymphets,” “Sick Child Room” and “Pedo Heaven.”

The ring allegedly used other layers of subterfuge to insulate itself. Subscribers were billed by a company called “AdSoft,” which posed as a legitimate business, and the site also employed remote servers in Ukraine and the United States.

To crack the ring and to find the subscribers, authorities tapped Shynkarenko’s email and investigated credit card processors.

The early phases of the  investigation focused on clients, leading to the arrests to date of 567 people, all men, in 47 states, including at least 20 who were also abusing children themselves. Between 10 and 50 Americans attempted to join the site daily, Fishman said. Those offenders came from all walks of life.

“They include members of law enforcement, doctors, teachers, clergy and other figures of public trust,” said Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of ICE-Homeland Security Investigations.

They include a San Diego man who eventually admitted to abusing children for 30 years and who traveled to the Philippines to have sex with children. William Irey, a former construction company executive from Orlando, Fla., preyed on economically disadvantaged girls in Cambodia, torturing them in what authorities described as “some of the most graphic and disturbing child pornography ever to turn up on the Internet.” 

Another offender, Bryan Dickson of Texas, has been convicted of taking pornographic images of a 1-year-old child he had volunteered to babysit.

Fishman today took great pains to describe the ghastly nature of the crimes captured on the website, where the suffering of children allegedly yielded a profit of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for Shynkarenko and his co-conspirators.

“When we use the term child pronography... we tend to minimalize or trivialize what it is because it makes it easier for us to think about it. It is not simply naked pictures or lewd pictures of unsuspecting children, although that would be bad enough,” Fishman said. “What we’re talking about are pictures, images and video, of the brutal sexual assault and torture by adults of young children.”

In New Jersey, dozens of men have been arrested for subscribing to the site, including Robert Rigney of Lakewood, Layne Bracht of Matawan, Jonathan Burke of Keyport, Stephen Lasher of Verona, George Payne of Hoboken, Terrance McCord of Brick and Charles Morgan of Willingboro.

If convicted, Shynkarenko faces up to life in prison.

Authorities are urging anyone with information about Internet child pornography rings to call 1-866-DHS-2ICE.





Anna June 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM
So horrific. Worst criminals in the world. Should be starved and left to rot.
Chris Schillander June 12, 2012 at 11:07 PM
send him to Texas, they know how to deal with these people down there.
Nose Wayne June 13, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Chris The guns are bigger in Texas, and they NOSE how to deal with people like that.
Tony Almeada June 14, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Castration should be their punishment
Otto von Klimmerklammer June 24, 2012 at 01:46 AM
"Mere" pedophiles are rapists, deserving orchiectomy (physical castration); anyone who tortures others for sexual pleasure is more akin to a serial murderer, and needs to be executed.

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