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Five Utahns sentenced in global child porn investigation

Published January 8, 2014 5:37 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

During a years-long investigation into a child porn website, five Utahns were sentenced for using the site.

The Ukrainian founder of the website admitted his role Wednesday and agreed to a 30-year prison term, according to a news release from U.S. Department of Justice.

He had operated the website from 2005 to 2008 while he was in the Ukraine, according to the release. Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations first found the website in October 2005, in part because of e-mails on a New Jersey man's computer, the release adds.

The investigation into the site led to convictions of more than 600 American users of the site in 47 states. The five Uthans were among those convictions; two of them are from Midvale, two are from St. George and the fifth is from Cedar City. Their sentences ranged from a year to 87 months in prison.

Those Utah convictions and sentences were handed down during the years of the investigation, said Melodie Rydalch, U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman.

"Today's plea again underscores HSI's commitment to taking those who distribute and sell graphic images and videos of child pornography off the street," Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of HSI in Newark, N.J., said in a statement.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

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