Feds Bust Louisiana-Based Child Exploitation Network
Federal authorities say they've broken up a large online child exploitation network, and the ring leader is from Louisiana.
Agent Ray Farmer, with the Homeland Security office in New Orleans, says 14 men who operated the child pornography website have been arrested.
He says they believe 27-year-old Jonathan Johnson of Abita Springs was the website's primary administrator.
"We think he is actually the one who created this website," Farmer said.
Farmer says Johnson has admitted to creating multiple fake female personas on popular social networks to target children and get them to provide pornographic pictures and videos of themselves.
Investigators said they have identified 251 minor victims in 39 states and five foreign countries. Most of the victims were boys, and seven of them were under age 10.
Prosecutors said the website operated from June 2012 to June 2013 and at one point had more than 27,000 members.
"And then they would share it with other members of the network," said Farmer.
Johnson faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted.