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Yardley man charged in child porn ring

Thomas Sibley
www.justice.gov

Yesterday, the United States Department of Justice, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, announced that a Yardley man was charged and indicted on child pornography charges. Thomas Silber, 50, was charged with 10 counts of knowingly receiving, and attempting to receive, visual depictions, that is, DVD movies, depicting child pornography. According to the court records which showed that from February 2007 and October 2010, “Silber received 10 DVD movies, using the internet, which were shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce, and contained materials that had been shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce. “ www.justice.gov The group of videos included titles such as: Azov Films presents a film by ZZ Vladik & Friends; The River BBQ; Winter Play Inside; and Scenes from Crimea (Volumes 2 through 6).

According to the website for the newspaper The Trentonian, “Azov Films has been involved in a large scandal before. Operation Spade, an international police investigation into child pornography, brought down a pedophile ring in November 2013 that had ties to Azov.”

The Independent from the United Kingdom reports that during a three year investigation, “341 people were arrested from six continents, including 76 people from the United States. A total of 386 children were rescued during the investigation.” www.independent.co.uk According to the Independent, “Project Spade, was led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), it was pursued with the collaboration of the US Postal Inspection Service and law enforcement agencies in Sweden, Spain, Mexico, Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong.” The report goes on to say that in the US, 76 people were arrested while others have been rounded up in several European countries.

Ms. Beavan-Desjardins, who heads the Toronto police sex crimes unit stated that the images, hundreds of thousands of them, were the most “horrific acts of sexual abuse – some of the worst they have seen” and that Azov Films, solicited and distributed on a global basis vast volumes of videos featuring underage and usually naked boys, as well as criminal sex acts.

Operation Spade was one of the largest covert operation that crossed borders and countries. “The success of this investigation confirms that, when we work together, regardless of the borders that divide us, we can successfully track down not only those that prey on our most vulnerable, but also profit from it,” said Beaven-Desjardins. The three year child exploitation investigation has led to the rescue of 386 children and 348 arrests worldwide was led by Toronto police. www.torontopolice

Silber was arrested on Sept. 12 and, if convicted, Silber faces a maximum possible sentence of 200 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a $1,000 special assessment