Harford man charged with running Internet child pornography service

March 27, 2001|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A 20-year-old Harford County man was arrested yesterday on charges he operated a computer server that allowed people from across the globe to swap images of child pornography, federal officials said.

George Morgan Haak of the 5200 block of Deer Trail surrendered to authorities after being indicted last week by a federal grand jury on 10 counts of trafficking in child pornography.

U.S. Customs Service agents began investigating Haak in late 1999, after police in Germany discovered an Internet chat room user called "Pornoboy" offering access to his computer server, where photographs of naked children were found, according to court documents.

The German officers downloaded 17 images from the server, including some that portrayed sex acts between girls and grown men, an affidavit says. The German authorities then alerted U.S. Customs agents about "Pornoboy," who they believed was living in the United States.

Customs officials subpoenaed records from several Internet service providers, as well as phone records, and traced "Pornoboy" to a house in Harford County, the affidavit says.

Customs agents searched the house last spring and found more than 50 CD-ROMs containing child pornography, said Special Agent Allan J. Doody, who heads the Customs office in Baltimore. It took about a year to complete an analysis of Haak's computers before charges could be filed, Doody said.

Haak could not be reached for comment. He was released yesterday to the custody of his mother, authorities said.

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