News From Terre Haute, Indiana

State News

June 7, 2012

“Operation Bulldog” a success

Discovery of Bloomington man’s production, distribution of child pornography led to prosecution of individuals across country, around world

INDIANAPOLIS — The United States Attorney’s Office in conjunction with the Justice Department’s Criminal Division today marked the success of “Operation Bulldog,” a multi-jurisdictional effort to dismantle and prosecute members of an international child pornography distribution ring discovered in the course of investigating a Bloomington man’s production and distribution of child pornography. A total of nine defendants were subsequently prosecuted in Indiana, the final four of which appeared in court yesterday to enter guilty pleas.

“I applaud the work of the investigators and prosecutors on this case, who took a search warrant in Bloomington and successfully brought to justice defendants from all over the world,” said Josh Minkler, First Assistant United States Attorney. “More importantly, as a result of this 18-month operation, more than two dozen children here in Indiana and across the globe have been rescued from their tormentors.”

On Nov. 17, 2010, a federal search warrant was executed by the FBI and state and local law enforcement partners at the residence of David Bostic in Bloomington. Investigators determined that Bostic possessed hundreds of images and videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit acts, and that he had actively distributed this child pornography to other individuals through various means.  

It was also discovered that Bostic had produced child pornography on multiple occasions over the previous two years, creating sexually explicit images of four minor females, all of whom were between the ages of two months and three years, as well as a minor male who was four years old. Evidence gathered at the scene demonstrated that Bostic had distributed the images of child pornography he produced to multiple individuals.

Bostic was arrested that day, and has since pleaded guilty and received a sentence of 315 years, one of the longest sentences in Southern District history. Following Bostic’s arrest, a review of the evidence determined that Bostic was a member of a large group of individuals trading sexually explicit images of children, primarily focused on child pornography depicting children under five years of age.

Some of the images produced by Bostic of Indiana children were found to have been distributed among the members of the group. Within days of Bostic’s arrest, Operation Bulldog was launched to identify and apprehend the members of the group. Since then, more than 20 members of the group have been captured, with many of those individuals charged in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

All of those defendants prosecuted in Indiana have now entered guilty pleas, or have petitioned the court to enter a guilty plea, including four individuals who appeared in court on Wednesday, June 6. They include:

• Shawn Kuykendall, age 32, of South Carolina – sentenced to 25 years

• Javahn Algere, age 23, of Louisiana – sentenced to 12 years

• Richard Szulborski, age 21, of Pennsylvania – sentenced to 15 years

• Jeremy Labrec, age 22, of Texas – awaiting acceptance of guilty plea

In addition, the following individuals have previously appeared in court in Indiana:

• David Bostic, age 26, of Bloomington, Indiana – sentenced to 315 years

• Danny L. Druck, age 58, of Kentucky – sentenced to 8 years

• Chris Reid, age 37, of Michigan – sentenced to 35 years

• Todd King, age 41, of California – sentenced to 8 years

• Nicholas King, age 28, of Washington – signed agreement to plead guilty

Additional defendants were identified in the course of this investigation and have been referred to federal prosecutors and law enforcement in other districts across the country and around the world. They include additional American defendants, as well as individuals residing in Sweden, Serbia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

“This operation uncovered a dangerous and depraved group of criminals who were devoted to trading sexually explicit images of children under the age of five,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “As a result of our investigation and prosecution, seven members of the group – including three of the four men who pleaded guilty yesterday – are now serving lengthy prison terms, and two others are awaiting sentencing. Child pornography rings pose a threat to children around the world and we will continue to aggressively pursue those who participate in such groups.”

All told, more than two dozen children have now been rescued as a result of Operation Bulldog, and Minkler said investigators in the United States and abroad are still actively working to identify additional defendants and victims.

This case was the result of the significant efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with local assistance from the Indiana State Police, the Kokomo Police Department and the Brownsburg Police Department.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Brant Cook and Trial Attorney Michael Grant of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the Justice Department's Criminal Division, who assisted in prosecuting the case for the government, all of the defendants sentenced were ordered to register as sex offenders and were sentenced to supervised release at the end of their prison term. Federal sentencing guidelines mandate that, at a minimum, 85% of all sentences must be served in prison.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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