Operator of Huge Child Porn Ring That Snared San Antonians Arrested

The owner of a massive child pornography web site which snared two San Antonio federal agents was indicted in his native South Korea today, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Called 'Welcome to Video,' federal prosecutors say this was the largest child sexual exploitation market by volume of content ever taken down.

In addition to the alleged proprietor, Jong Woo Son, 23, 337 site users around the world, including Richard Nikolai Gratkowski, 40, of San Antonio, a former Homeland Security special agent, and Paul Casey Whipple, 35, of Hondo, a U.S. Border Patrol Agent. Gratkowski pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison. Whipple is in custody awaiting trial in San Antonio.

Users of 'Welcome to Video' hailed from countries around the world, but mainly from the United States.

'Welcome to Video' was shut down when agents seized the server that was used to operate the child porn ring on the 'Dark Web.' The server contained 250,000 videos and images of children being exploited, making it one of the largest seizures of it's kind. Users had to have a unique series of computer keystrokes to access the site, and were required to pay by virtual currency, Bitcoin.

“Through the sophisticated tracing of bitcoin transactions, IRS-CI special agents were able to determine the location of the Darknet server, identify the administrator of the website and ultimately track down the website server’s physical location in South Korea,” said IRS-CI Chief Don Fort. “This large criminal enterprise that endangered the safety of children around the world is no more. Regardless of the illicit scheme, and whether the proceeds are virtual or tangible, we will continue to work with our federal and international partners to track down these disgusting organizations and bring them to justice.”

Photo: Getty Images

337 People Charged in Connection With Dark Web Child Porn Website
337 People Charged in Connection With Dark Web Child Porn Website
Authorities said the site contained 250,000 videos that were downloaded a million times by users from around the world.

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