Seven men accused of operating child pornography ring in Michigan

Posted at 11:42 AM, Aug 06, 2018

Seven men have been charged in a pornography ring that took place from 2015 to 2018 in Michigan, according to a criminal complaint from the FBI.

In November 2015, the FBI arrested a man in possession of child pornography and was interviewed by agents. During the interviews, he told agents he was a member of a group of people that uses the internet to lure minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct via web camera.

The group members would reportedly pretend to be teenagers in order to entice their "targets." They would convince female minors to visit chat rooms on a specific website. Once the girls would arrive in the chatrooms, group members would work together to perform various sexual acts on camera.

According to the complaint, everyone in the chatroom had the ability to watch and record the girls. Some members distributed the recordings to other people.

Each group member had a different role; there were "hunters," "talkers," "loopers," and "watchers." The "hunters" visited social media websites to interact with the minors in order to try and convince them to log on to the specific chatroom website.

Once they log on, the "talkers" engaged with them asking the minors to do "dares," which escalated into sexual activity, according to the complaint.

If the minor was reluctant or suspicious, a "looper" played a previously recorded video of a minor actively chatting and performing sexual acts in a chatroom. The "looper" pretended to be the minor in the video and played the video in order to try and entice the minor in the chatroom to do the same.

"Watchers" were in charge of security, watching users coming and going to make sure no suspected law enforcement members accessed the room.

Six men were arrested and convicted in the Eastern District of Michigan of charges related to child exploitation enterprise, conspiracy to produce child pornography, online enticement and other child exploitation offenses.

One of the group members was identified as Marc Armbruster, who lives in Idaho, and is facing felony charges of child pornography.

Six other men have also been charged in the scheme.