Project Spade Results in 348 Child Pornography Arrests Internationally

by on November 18, 2013

As part of a three-year investigation codenamed Project Spade, authorities have arrested 348 people and have rescued 400 children across the globe in one of the largest child pornography raids in history.

Stemming from complaints received on the website,, which allows users to digitally report the sexual exploitation of children, investigators began tracking the Toronto-based film company, Azov Films and its owner, Brian Way. In May 2011, authorities obtained enough evidence to arrest Way, who was charged with 11 offenses including paying vendors to film the child pornography.

After raiding sites owned by Azov Films, a company which claimed to sell “naturist” footage legal both in the United States and Canada, officers found hundreds of thousands of videos and images featuring some of the worst footage they had ever viewed. Most victims were identified as “pre-pubescent,” with some as young as 5.

“The number of suspects who had close contact to children was of particular concern to investigators.”

Following the seizure of Azov Film’s databases, hundreds of arrests were made, including 108 in Canada, 76 in the United States, and 164 in other countries such as Ireland, Spain, Greece, Australia, Mexico, Norway, and South Africa.  Priests, school teachers, doctors, and foster parents were all among the suspects.

One pre-school teacher in Japan pleaded guilty to producing child pornography, while one school employee in Georgia admitted to possessing child pornography and to surreptitiously recording students in school bathrooms. Additionally, during a search of a retired school teacher’s home in Canada, investigators found over 9,000 videos and 350,000 images of child pornography; this suspect was also accused of sexually abusing a young relative.

Child Pornography Laws in Arizona

Under Arizona law, it is illegal for a person to knowingly do any of the following:

  1. Record, film, duplicate, develop, or photograph any visual depiction in which a minor is engaged in exploitative exhibition or sexual conduct.
  2. Exhibit, purchase, possess, exchange, transport, receive, electronically transmit, distribute, or sell any visual depiction in which a minor is engaged in exploitative exhibition or other sexual conduct.

The statute above basically makes it unlawful for anyone in Arizona to be involved in child pornography in any way. Even searching for images or videos online may result in charges if law enforcement can track your IP address.

In AZ, charges for child pornography can result in severe prison sentences, large fines, and other penalties, not to mention that a convicted offender will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of their life.

If you have been accused of possessing, distributing, or otherwise interacting with child pornography in Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, or another AZ city, the sex crime defense lawyers at JacksonWhite can work to decrease your charges and punishments, and will work to get you the treatment you need to lead a successful and law abiding life. Call us today to schedule a free and confidential appointment with compassionate JacksonWhite sex crimes attorney, Jeremy Geigle at 480-818-9943.

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