A man arrested in 2006 for his alleged participation in a twenty-seven person, international child pornography ring was sentenced late last week to 40 years in federal prison.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Brian Annoreno, a 35-year-old who formerly lived in west suburban Bartlett, was an active participant in a private online chat room that transmitted thousands of illegal images and streaming video depicting live molestations of children to viewers living throughout the world via peer-to-peer file-sharing programs, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
"This case involved the most disturbing criminal sexual assault of minors," U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement Tuesday. "The exploitation of children in such a depraved manner can never be tolerated."
Annoreno (who used the Internet pseudonym "Acidburn") and his accomplices were originally exposed as the result of an undercover investigation infiltrating their chat room, which was called "Kiddypics & Kiddyvids." In federal custody since he was arrested in January 2006, he pleaded guilty in late 2010 to charges including conspiracy to receive, transmit and advertise child pornography; receiving child pornography and possessing child pornography.
In 2006, then U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales described the images and videos shared by Annoreno and his partners as "the worst imaginable forms of child pornography." Some of the victims portrayed in the "on-demand" adult-on-child molestations were not even 18 months old.
Investigators into the case also came across a 1999 posting by Annoreno where he indicated he was "looking to adopt eather [sic] a boy or a girl any age," though Fitzgerald stated at the time of the man's charging that he was not successful in adopting any children, according to ABC News.
Two other former suburban Chicago participants in the ring, Gregory J. Sweezer and Alan M. Jungels, were both sentenced in 2008 for similar charges and faced sentences of 12 and 20 years in prison respectively. Others charged in the ring lived throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Great Britain and Australia.