US and international authorities have charged 27 people in connection with an international online child pornography ring, federal officials said.
Federal authorities said the accused included suspects from Australia, Britain and Canada as well as 13 US citizens.
After infiltrating an online chat room named “Kiddypics and Kiddyvids,” federal investigators say they found individuals who traded images of child pornography.
Some suspects “transmitted streaming video of live molestations through online instant messenger services to participants around the world,” the US Attorney’s office in Chicago said in a statement.
“Today’s charges involve the most disturbing of allegations,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, US attorney for the northern district of Illinois.
“The victimization of children in the depraved manner described can never be tolerated.”
One of the accused, Brian Annoreno, 29, from a Chicago suburb, is charged with using “an infant to produce child pornography, which he transmitted live, via the Internet” to a chat room member involved in producing videos of four minors being molested, the statement said.
Annoreno was arrested on January 8 and has been charged with conspiracy, two counts of manufacturing child pornography and one count of distribution.