ADMIN OF PROLIFIC CHILD PORN SITE PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY

Dark Web

The site boasted of over 7,700 subscribed users and an averaged 22,000 posts after law enforcement laid siege to the website.



The creator and administrator of a darkweb website known as Freedom Hosting has recently pleaded guilty to conspiring to advertise child abuse images. Freedom Hosting back in 2013 underwent scrutiny after it was discovered by law enforcement to be a largely successful website for the distribution of child pornography under the cover of the dark web.

Described by law enforcement as the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet at some point, the website had generated a large buzz and was generally popular amongst pedophiles until its takeover by the FBI in July of 2013. This large success was mostly attributed to founder and administrator of the site, Eric Eoin Marques, 34, a citizen of the United States and Ireland who created the free web hosting site using the dark web and was arrested shortly after in 2013 following the takedown of the site.

Pictured here is Marques

Image Source: irishtimes.com


Back in April of 2019, Marques was charged with Conspiracy to Advertise Child Abuse Images, Conspiracy to Distribute Child Abuse Images, Advertising Child Abuse Images and Distributing Child Abuse Images after he was arrested in Dublin. The Judiciary from the latter declined to press additional charges against him bearing in mind his willingness to plead guilty to the claims made against him, and following his extradition to face judgment in the United States.

A justice from the Supreme Court of Ireland issued a statement concerning this very matter, shortly after rejecting a plea to fight his indictment.

That decision was made notwithstanding that [Marques] had offered to plead guilty to at least some of the potential charges that might have been brought against him in Ireland.

Concerning his extradition, the FBI stressed that it had been a journey getting Marques to answer for his crimes. Special Agent at the FBI, Brooke Donahue said,

He was trying to look for a place to reside to make it most difficult to be extradited to the United States.

If convicted of the charges levelled against him, Marques will be faced with a mandatory maximum of 30 years in prison for the one charge of conspiracy to advertise Child Abuse Images. This plea arrangement stipulates that the judge consider a reduction in the recommended sentencing time to between 15 to 21 years, in the absence of which Marques reserves the right to change his plea.

Sentencing will take place on the 11th of May and will be handed down by District Judge Theodore Chuang.

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