‘DREAMBOARD’ MEMBER SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR EXPLOITING CHILDREN
A United States man was sentenced to life in prison this month for participating in an international criminal network for sexually abusing children, known as Dreamboard, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Dreamboard is an online bulletin board dedicated to sexually abusing children, and creating and disseminating graphic images and videos of child sexual abuse throughout the world. Evidence presented at trial revealed that Wyss had been an active member of Dreamboard.
The charges against John Wyss, aka “Bones,” of Monroe, Wisconsin, resulted from Operation Delego, an ongoing investigation that was launched in December 2009 that targeted individuals around the world for their participation in Dreamboard. Dreamboard was a private, members-only, online bulletin board that was created and operated to promote pedophilia and encourage the sexual abuse of very young children, in an environment designed to avoid law enforcement detection.
A total of 72 individuals, including Wyss, have been charged as a result of Operation Delego. To date, 56 of the 72 charged defendants have been arrested around the world. Forty-three individuals have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy and 40 have received prison sentences ranging between 15 years and life in prison. Wyss is the third defendant to receive a life sentence. Thirteen of the 72 charged individuals remain at large and are known only by their online identities. Efforts to identify and apprehend these individuals continue.
Operation Delego represents the largest prosecution to date in the United States of individuals who participated in an online bulletin board that was conceived and operated for the sole purpose of promoting and distributing images of child sexual abuse and evading law enforcement.
Operation Delego involved extensive international cooperation to identify and apprehend Dreamboard members abroad. Through coordination among ICE, the Department of Justice, Eurojust, the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, and dozens of law enforcement agencies throughout the world, 20 Dreamboard members across five continents and 14 countries have been arrested to date outside the United States, including two of the five lead administrators of the board. Those countries include: Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Kenya, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Qatar, Serbia, Sweden and Switzerland. Numerous foreign investigations related to Operation Delego remain ongoing. The location and arrest of Dreamboard members abroad have led to the capture and investigation of other global targets.
For more information on this investigation, visit the ICE website.
ICE HSI Cyber Crimes Center
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations Cyber Crimes Unit helps track down those committing crimes in cyberspace. Here an ICE Agent scans the internet for illegal sites.
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