Tag Archives: Brian Way

David Scott Engle First American Identified as Pedophile in Project Spade Bust

EXCLUSIVE: Youth baseball coach is first American out of 76 identified as pedophile trapped in global sting that rescued 400 children

  • David Scott Engle, from Lake Lucerne, Washington, is believed to be the first US child sex offender officially identified as someone caught by investigators from Project Spade
  • Last month MailOnline reported Engle, a divorce lawyer, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after amassing thousands of child pornography images
  • He will now stand trial on child rape charges after investigators found dozens of videos of him allegedly sexually assaulting on two boys
  • So far Project Spade has led to the rescue of 386 young children worldwide and the arrest of 348 people, among them nearly 80 American nationals
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Child rape: Baseball coach David Engle, pictured, ‘repeatedly filmed himself raping two boys and had 450 sexual photos of his youth baseball players’

By WILL PAYNE

A youth baseball coach was exposed as a prolific pedophile in one of the world’s biggest ever child porn busts, it can be revealed today.

David Scott Engle is believed to be the first American child sex offender officially identified as someone caught by investigators from Project Spade.

Last month MailOnline reported Engle, a divorce lawyer from Lake Lucerne in Washington, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after amassing thousands of child pornography images.

The 50-year-old will now stand trial on child rape charges after investigators found dozens of videos of him allegedly carrying out sickening sexual assaults on two boys.

He was arrested in November last year when he was detected buying child pornography online, leading to the discovery that he had a collection of 450 images showing the clothed genitals of the boys he coached.

And MailOnline can for the first time reveal that he was caught after operatives from sweeping child pornography investigation Project Spade discovered his internet activity.

Members of the global team alerted local law enforcement who searched his home and a storage unit and discovered a stash of horrific home-made and purchased child pornography.

Last night Emily Langlie from the United States Attorney’s office told MailOnline: ‘Project Spade put him on the radar of law enforcement officers.

‘Then following the serving of warrants it became clear that Mr Engle was involved in not only the production of child pornography, but in child molestation against young victims.’

So far Project Spade has led to the rescue of 386 young children around the world and the arrest of 348 people, among them nearly 80 American nationals.

‘It is alleged that officers seized hundreds of thousands of videos detailing horrific sexual acts against very young children, some of the worst that they have ever viewed,’ Toronto Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins said.

Massive haul: Canadian police described the Project Spade operation as one of the largest child porn busts they've ever seen

Massive haul: Canadian police described the Project Spade operation as one of the largest child porn busts they’ve ever seen

Police have revealed 108 people were arrested in Canada, 76 in the U.S and 164 in countries from Spain to South Africa and Australia. Forty school teachers, nine doctors and nurses, and more than 30 people who volunteered with kids were among those taken into custody.

The list of suspects also includes nine clergymen, six police officers and three foster parents. Police said the children were ‘rescued from child exploitation’ but did not give more details.

Beaven-Desjardins said the investigation began with a Toronto man accused of running a company since 2005 that distributed child pornography videos to the tune of $4million in revenue, CTV News reported.

Police allege Brian Way, 42, instructed people around the world to create the videos of children ranging from 5 to 12 years of age, then distributed the videos via his company, Azov Films, to international customers.

The videos included naked boys from Germany, Romania and Ukraine, which it marketed as naturist movies and claimed were legal in Canada and the United States.

The head of the Toronto police sex crimes unit told the Toronto Star that the X-rated images displayed ‘horrific acts of sexual abuse — some of the worst (officers) have seen.’

Police said they executed a search warrant at Way’s company and home, seizing about 1,000 pieces of evidence: computers, servers, DVD burners, a video editing suite and hundreds of movies.

Teachers, Doctors Among Those Busted

Global collaboration: More than 30 police officers from around the world gathered to announce the end of a 3-year child pornography investigation in Toronto

Global collaboration: More than 30 police officers from around the world gathered to announce the end of a 3-year child pornography investigation in Toronto

Way was charged with 24 offences, including child pornography. Police also designated Azov Films as a criminal organization, charging Way with giving directions on behalf of a gang. TheAzovfilms.com website has been shut down.

And MailOnline can reveal Engle was part of the global network of paedophiles. Last month he was sentenced on federal child pornography charges but allegations that he raped one boy ‘countless’ times over six years remaining outstanding in state court.

The baseball coach for 11 and 12-year-olds had gone to great lengths to have contact with children, and amassed an extensive collection of child pornography featuring boys the same age as the ones he taught, the court was told.

Before his arrest, Engle had coached a youth baseball team, was president of Maple Valley Pony Baseball and Fast Pitch, served on two regional baseball organizations and one baseball business.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marci Ellsworth said the former coach abused the trust parents placed in him.

‘While [Engle] was purportedly serving as a role model and mentor for these young boys, he was sexually interested in them,’ Ms Ellsworth said in court papers.

‘When [he] was taking pictures and shooting video of baseball games, his camera was focused on the players’ crotches, not on their batting stance, pitching arms, or any other aspect of their athletic performance.’

Online filth: Police allege Brian Way, 42, instructed people around the world to create the videos of children ranging from 5 to 12 years of age, then distributed the videos via his company, Azov Films

Online filth: Police allege Brian Way, 42, instructed people around the world to create the videos of children ranging from 5 to 12 years of age, then distributed the videos via his company, Azov Films

Engle pleaded guilty in July to federal child pornography charges and admitted possessing hundreds of videos of children being sexually abused.

Now he has been sentenced on those charges, the child rape case can proceed with any state sentence following on from the 25-year term just handed to Engle.

King County prosecutors have charged him with three counts of child rape over allegations that he was shown raping a boy in several videos.

About 1,400 photos and 40 videos allegedly show Engle raping one boy, and three videos show abuse of a second child.

In one Engle filmed himself watching baseball on TV as the boy he was raping struggled and told him ‘No’. The assaults only stopped after his arrest.

‘This is a heart-wrenching betrayal of trust of the victims and the community,’ U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement.

Engle was caught after postal inspectors joined an international investigation into Azovfilms.com.

All walks of life: Police said 108 people were arrested in Canada, 76 in the U.S and 164 in countries from Spain to South Africa and Australia, among them teachers, doctors and priests

All walks of life: Police said 108 people were arrested in Canada, 76 in the U.S and 164 in countries from Spain to South Africa and Australia, among them teachers, doctors and priests

He spent $2,300 on videos and photos sent to him by the company between 2005 and 2011, according to Q13Fox, but when police raided his home they found child pornography well beyond the purchases he made from the website they had been investigating.

His ‘collection of child pornography consisted predominantly of young boys in the same age range as those [he] coached in youth baseball,’ Ms Ellsworth told the court.

She added: ‘[Engle] had many pictured of the boys he coached – including nearly 450 pictures of their clothed genital regions – which, although … not pornographic in nature, are nonetheless disturbing.’

His conviction is a significant result for Project Spade, which began in 2010 and worked with Interpol in more than 50 countries including Australia, Spain, Mexico, Norway and Greece.

More than 350,000 images and over 9,000 videos – about 45 terabytes – of child sexual abuse were found during the probe, and arrests are continuing.

Norwegian police spokesman Bjoern-Erik Ludvigsen said in a statement: ‘This operation shows that international police cooperation works. Despite large amounts of material and that this is time-consuming work, this shows that the Internet is not a safe haven for crimes against children,’

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service said it began its investigation by accessing the company website and making undercover purchases.

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Hundreds Arrested in International Child Porn Case

348 people arrested and 386 children rescued

Toronto police announcing an international child pornography bust said Thursday that 348 people have been arrested and 386 children rescued from situations around the world where they were at risk.

Toronto police announcing an international child pornography bust said Thursday that 348 people have been arrested and 386 children rescued from situations around the world where they were at risk.

Police say a sweeping child pornography investigation that began with a Toronto man has led to at least 386 victims being rescued.

Toronto police say 348 people have been arrested around the world as part of Project Spade, which they described as one of the largest child porn busts they’ve ever achieved.

Hundreds of thousand of the images, filling 45 terabytes or a stack of paper reaching as tall as 1,500 CN Towers,  found featured “horrific acts of sexual abuse — some of the worst (officers) have seen,” said Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins, who heads the Toronto police’s sex crimes unit.

They say 50 of those arrested are from Ontario and 58 are from other parts of Canada.

Police say school teachers, doctors and actors were among those arrested.

The Toronto man at the heart of the investigation was allegedly running a company since 2005 that distributed child pornography videos.

Police allege the man instructed people around the world to create the videos of children ranging from five to 12 years of age, and then distributed the videos to international customers.

“We’ve worked a lot of big cases. This is by far the biggest,” said one source.

‪The company, Toronto-based Azov Films, sold mail-order DVDs and streamed online videos of naked boys from Germany, Romania and Ukraine, which it marketed as naturist movies and claimed were legal in Canada and the United States.

‪According to police in Spain, where 38 suspects were arrested last year, the Canadian firm earned $1.6-million annually from sales in 94 countries.

‪The head of the company, 41-year-old Toronto resident Brian Way, has been in custody since his May, 2011, arrest after an online undercover operation.

‪Records at the Finch Avenue courthouse in Toronto show that, in addition to indicting him with 23 child-pornography-related criminal counts, prosecutors took the unprecedented step of designating Azov Films as a criminal organization and charging Mr. Way with giving directions on behalf of a gang.

Originally enacted to fight criminal bikers, gangsterism offences bring stiffer penalties because they have to be served consecutively to other jail terms.

Inspector Joanna Beavan-Desjardins at news conference (14 Nov 2013)

Inspector Joanna Beavan-Desjardins said 108 arrests were made across Canada

‪Mr. Way’s mother, Sandra Waslov, who is believed to be in the U.S., was named as a co-conspirator, along with a German videographer, Markus Rudolph Roth.

‪About 100 people have been arrested in Canada, including 45 in Ontario and 45 in Quebec, police sources said.

‪According to U.S. court documents, the Azov investigation was prompted by about 20 complaints to Toronto police.

‪Some of the complaints came from other law-enforcement agencies, some from cyber-tipsters and even some from business rivals of Mr. Way, sources said.

‪Azov was not exactly a covert operation: It was incorporated, held trademarks and fought for them in very public legal battles that stretched over years.

‪Starting in 2004, David Eisenlohr, a California mail-order distributor selling what he calls European naturist videos, complained to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that Mr. Way was stealing his films and reselling them online at a cheaper price.

‪Mr. Eisenlohr then came to the attention of U.S. investigators in March, 2006, when photo-lab employees at a Wal-Mart in Virginia saw a man, David Tetterton, trying to print explicit photos from their self-serve kiosk. Evidence seized from Mr. Tetterton’s house led to Mr. Eisenlohr, who was indicted with trading child pornography.

‪Even as he faced criminal charges, Mr. Eisenlohr continued his campaign against his Canadian competitor. In 2007, he wrote a letter to then Canadian justice minister Rob Nicholson to complain about Mr. Way “stealing my intellectual property using the internet” and ask whether there were laws in Canada to stop him.

‪“It’s crazy, guys arguing over what we consider child-exploitation material,” one police detective said about the feud.

‪In court, Mr. Eisenlohr successfully argued that his nude videos were not pornographic and he was acquitted in 2009.

‪The following year in Romania, a German man arrived in the Transylvanian city of Zalau and began offering martial-arts classes to local boys.

‪The man was Mr. Roth and he was arrested in August, 2010, and sentenced to three years of prison for taking more than 100 pornographic films of children. Authorities said the films were sold to Canada at $1,000 a piece.

Two months after Mr. Roth’s arrest, Toronto police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service began their Azov investigation, accessing the company website and making undercover purchases.

Toronto police infographic on Project Spade

Toronto police say over 50 countries were involved in the inquiry

‪They found that orders to the U.S. transited through a warehouse near Buffalo before being shipped by USPS Priority mail.

‪Toronto police executed a search warrant at Azov’s Etobicoke offices on May 1, 2011, and seized hundreds of DVDs, computers, business records, shipping labels and customer order histories, according to U.S. court documents.

‪Police sources estimate about 100 children were rescued as a result of the investigation.

‪Sources say the investigation identified 10 to 15 children in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, who modelled for photographers connected with Azov.

‪In addition, the sources said, as Azov clients were identified around the world, police uncovered more children who were victims of those customers, who were either “hands-on abusers” or who secretly videotaped them.

‪In one case, the Azov probe led to the arrest of Richard Keller, a pediatric endocrinologist in Andover, Mass.

‪A search at Dr. Keller’s house uncovered videos that appeared to have been shot at the Cap d’Agde nudist colony in southern France. The camera operator’s forearm and wristwatch are seen at one point. Investigators then executed a second search warrant to see whether they could find a matching wristwatch.

‪Several of the American defendants contend the videos they bought aren’t pornographic at all, but just legal videos of naked boys, using the same argument that led to Mr. Eisenlohr’s acquittal. U.S. courts so far have sided with the prosecution and a number of defendants have already been found guilty.

‪In Canada, the Criminal Code’s definition of child pornography includes images where a minor’s genitals are depicted for a sexual purpose.

‪Canadian police say they’ve obtained legal opinions from prosecutors that the material sold by Azov qualified as child pornography.

“What did they think they were buying?” one officer said about customers who argued they bought legal naturist films.