Court documents, including a 45-page federal grand jury indictment filed in September 2009 and a 41-page sworn affidavit from an Ohio FBI agent, itemize a vast array of pornographic images involving young boys, described in numbing clinical detail: "[O]ne image depicts a nude, prepubescent boy kneeling on a bed with his buttocks in the air exposing his anus, scrotum, and penis. There is semen on his buttocks." Another image "depicts the face of a prepubescent boy bent over a bed and facing down. Behind him, a post-pubescent male appears to be engaging in anal sex with the boy, while holding a revolver pointed at the boy's buttocks." A series of seven images "depict a minor boy, approximately 12 -13 years old, with a baseball bat inserted in the boy's anus. Two of the images depict what appears to be the same boy, with a Crayola marker inserted in his anus. In the message, [Lost Boy member] mr bean wrote 'almost baseball season...'."

Most of the boys in the photos were between seven and twelve years old. One had Down syndrome.

Click here to read the indictment.

On October 23, 2009, federal and state authorities arrested Jeffrey Greenwell just outside his home in Miramiguoa Park and detained him at the Franklin County Jail.
On October 23, 2009, federal and state authorities arrested Jeffrey Greenwell just outside his home in Miramiguoa Park and detained him at the Franklin County Jail.
The Miramiguoa Park home where Greenwell lived prior to his arrest.
Jon Gitchoff
The Miramiguoa Park home where Greenwell lived prior to his arrest.

Among the videos the LA task force found were several that featured an identical opening sequence: an image swirling into focus to reveal the iconic Hanna-Barbera cartoon Great Dane Scooby-Doo, accompanied by the tag line "Scooby-Doo Productions." The agents would discover that Scooby-Doo videos had cropped up in child-porn investigations nationwide, but no one had been able to trace the videos back to their source.

In its efforts to evade detection, the group resembled an exclusive country club. A prospective Lost Boy had to be nominated by an existing member, and in order to remain in good standing, all members were required to upload new images on a regular basis; a prolonged stretch of inactivity was taken as a sign that authorities had hijacked a member's account.

Court documents indicate that members believed they were immune to detection. "[S]ome Latin boys for your enjoyment," wrote one. "Have fun and watch out for sticky keyboards, lol," posted another. "That top boy is super hot," one man commented on a fellow member's recent contribution.

In another exchange, a member expressed his distaste for "Asian boys or darker," writing, "If I had one in my arms, they would just be like tissue paper. Use and then throw away."

Responded a fellow commenter: "yeesh why throw them away when you know that me and [Lost Boy member] flipper will gladly take them? [emoticon]"

Offered a subsequent commenter on the same thread: "hey! i am attracted to tissue paper so i don't appreciate your comments. i like the rolled up kind that most people call toilet paper. i saw a roll at the grocery store the other day that looked good to me. it was 100% recycled roll so it wasx [sic] slightly darker than the rest. that turned me on. it was really soft and smooth and had a good personality. i paid a man so I could take it home with me. we played, Xbox, watched some Adam Sandler movies, and then had sweaty sex on the floor. the next day we went into town and i bought it a skateboard."

The 2009 Los Angeles indictment named twelve alleged Lost Boy members and charged them with operating a child-exploitation enterprise; conspiracy to advertise, transport, receive, distribute, solicit, and posses child pornography; and transportation of child pornography.

But the task force was left with more questions than answers. They had uncovered a mother lode of child porn and rooted out a diverse crew of pedophiles who got their kicks from viewing and sharing it.

But who was producing the material? Who were the men depicted in the photos and the videos, committing seemingly countless acts of molestation?

Who — and where — were the children?

Carrie Costantin's office on the 21st floor of the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse faces north, affording the federal prosecutor an enviable view of downtown St. Louis' Gateway Mall. At 50, the veteran assistant U.S. attorney, who grew up in University City and studied law at the University of Chicago, is slightly built, slim and easygoing, blessed with a streak of spontaneous understated humor that belies the dark nature of her specialization.

During her eleven years trying cases for the Eastern District of Missouri, Costantin has prosecuted hundreds of child molesters. In 2006 she was tapped as the regional coordinator for the U.S. Department of Justice's new Project Safe Childhood program, a national initiative to combat the sexual exploitation of minors. (She stepped down last year in order to assume a new role as supervisor of the district's White Collar Crime Unit.) It's not inconceivable that Costantin has tried more child-pornography cases than anyone else in the nation.

In the twelve months ending in September 2010, the Eastern District of Missouri took on 84 child-exploitation cases — more than any other judicial district in the United States. In each of the two years preceding, the office ranked second.

In September 2009 Costantin received a call from federal agents in St. Louis, indicating that a Los Angeles investigation into an Internet-based network of child-porn aficionados had turned up a possible connection to the St. Louis metropolitan area.

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