US Imprisons Dark Web Moderator

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A man from Southern Illinois who moderated a website focused on child sexual abuse material (CSAM) has been sent to federal prison for 12 years and 7 months.

Thirty-seven-year-old Sparta resident Kory R. Schulein was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2020 on a single count of knowingly receiving CSAM over the internet. 

Prosecutors said the unemployed man from Randolph County spent years downloading, sharing, and storing videos and images of minors being sexually assaulted. 

According to the indictment, in addition to being a moderator on a CSAM-focused website, Schulein was an active user of other dark websites offering similar content.  

Law enforcement first became aware of Schulein in 2018 during an FBI investigation of CSAM on the dark web. A federal search warrant was executed at this home address on October 1, 2019, after agents tracked his IP address.

CSAM was discovered by officers on a laptop computer and two external hard drives belonging to Schulein. The illegal and explicit content was downloaded from 2016 to 2019, according to court documents.

More than 9,000 images and videos of CSAM were stored by Schulein on an encrypted hard drive. 

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) confirmed the identities of some of the minors depicted in the more than 2,500 images and 100 videos found in Schulein’s possession.

Schulein was found to have posted 13,733 messages on dark websites that were focused on CSAM. Many of his posts included links to videos and images of children being sexually abused. 

The investigation into Schulein was carried out by FBI-Springfield in collaboration with the United States Marshals

Service. The case against him was brought as part of the nationwide initiative Project Safe Childhood. 

On April 29, 2021, Schulein pleaded guilty to knowingly receiving CSAM over the internet. Earlier today, he was 

sentenced to 151 months, or 12 and a half years, in prison. 

Judge Stephen McGlynn, when sentencing Schulein, noted that some of the images and videos collected by the

offender showed children in bondage and adults raping children, including 5-year-old girls and toddlers

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