A former member of Joint Task Force North at Fort Bliss, Robert Cuff, 49, has been sentenced to life in federal prison after being convicted of taking part in an international child-porn network known as the Dreamboard.
Dreamboard is a members-only online bulletin board where child porn is shared between members.
According to Stars and Stripes, Cuff, a command master chief in the U.S. Navy, pleaded guilty in December in U.S. District Court in Shreveport, La., to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise.
Cuff was sentenced to life in prison by U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks in one of the severest sentences linked to a sophisticated global computer network that encouraged, produced and shared child sex abuse videos.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported yesterday that during sentencing, the court found that not only had Cuff participated in a child exploitation enterprise, he had also engaged in a pattern of activity involving the sexual exploitation of a 5-year-old child.
Evidence obtained during the ICE/HSI operation revealed that at least 38 children across the world were suffering sexual abuse at the hands of Cuff and members of his group. Efforts to locate and identify the victims of sexual abuse and exploitation by Dreamboard members are ongoing.
“To those who knew him in the military, he appeared to be an outstanding soldier, but as the judge stated, this defendant had a dark side involving the advertising of child pornography and the rape of a young child.”*
Cuff was one of 72 people arrested in connection with the Dreamboard investigation.
All 72 were charged with conspiring to advertise and distribute child pornography; and 50 were also charged with engaging in a child exploitation enterprise.
Of the 72 charged defendants, 55 have been arrested in the United States and abroad. Authorities say that 42 have been convicted to date with sentences ranging from 15 years to life.
Thirteen of the 72 charged individuals remain at large and are known only by their online identities.
The investigation into the Dreamboard group was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
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