When federal investigators busted Jeffrey Greenwell outside St. Louis, they hit the kiddie-porn jackpot

The child-pornography probe in Missouri that led to the arrest of Jeffrey Greenwell began with a lead forwarded to St. Louis from Los Angeles, where a state and federal task force was in the process of dismantling Lost Boy, an online network of pedophiles who traded photos and videos via the Internet. Ultimately, the Greenwell investigation spun off into four additional cases in four different states.

Click here to return toRiverfront Times' chronicle of the Lost Boy investigation, "The Scooby-Doo Files"

In early 2010, Captain John Foster, a detective with the Yell County Sheriff's Department in northwest Arkansas, received a package of photos prepared by Brian Mize, a forensic investigator with the St. Louis Division of the FBI.

The images, which Mize had culled from the thousands he'd found stored on hard drives and other media seized from Greenwell's house, depicted various shots of four boys. Mize believed each of the boys had been sexually molested by a man named Evan Batton, a youth pastor at a Baptist church near the city of Dardanelle.

Foster immediately recognized the face of one of the children: "a cute little redheaded kid, wearing an army helmet," he recalls.

Later that same day, Foster drove to Batton's house armed with a search warrant and accompanied by a team that included an agent from the FBI's Little Rock Division.

When Batton answered the door, the lawmen could see that the pastor wasn't alone. There was a little boy in the house — another face Foster had seen in Mize's dossier.

Rather than face a jury trial, Batton agreed to plead guilty to one felony count for the rape of a seven-year-old boy. Now 29, he is serving a 30-year sentence in state prison. He did not respond to two letters from Riverfront Times requesting comment for this story.

Yell County Prosecuting Attorney Tom Tatum II says he has chat-room transcripts in which Batton boasts to Greenwell about setting up a webcam in his bedroom in order to record himself having sex with boys.

"To have this guy in our back yard and not know it was shocking," says Tatum. "We were glad to get the tip and get rid of him."

During an interrogation session on the day he was arrested in 2009, Greenwell revealed the name of a child pornographer whose handiwork was widely shared on Lost Boy. Investigators in LA and St. Louis knew of the man only by his online alias, "SpongeBob." In late 2009 a federal grand jury in Utah reviewed evidence that proved sufficient to indict Antonio Cardenas, a.k.a. SpongeBob, who is in jail awaiting trial, having entered a plea of not-guilty to seven counts of production and distribution of child pornography and aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

Mize was able to identify two other child pornographers whose images were part of Greenwell's massive stash. One remains at large in a Midwestern state, according to the FBI. Investigators tracked down the other man, an insurance manager in New Hampshire, only to learn that he had committed suicide in 2008.

Click here to return toRiverfront Times' chronicle of the Lost Boy investigation, "The Scooby-Doo Files"

 
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5 comments
IntellectualDementia
IntellectualDementia

i just clicked on this article to find out where the kiddie porn jackpot is

Sturgcumberford
Sturgcumberford

A youth pastor! Why am I not surprised!The church is packed with these wolves in sheep clothing praying with and preying on our children.Wake up churches and stop being afraid to hold sermons and prayer groups addressoing these sick perverts! My two grandchildren were abused by a family member and even though my daughter won a land slide civil case.Involving full legal and physical custody and name and birth certificate name change.We are still pushing for criminal charges! The adults involved work ,what else but in churches and with children.They are smarter and do a better job at what they dothan the DFS Police and Dectitive do!By the time all legal mistakes were made these guys wiped themselves clean and submerged themselves deeper into the church and Gods word.We are working hard at finding pictures and movies made of our grandchildren.They remain in therapy for post traumatic stress snydrome and we remain heart broken.To hear the words and see the children act out what was done to them takes apart of our heart each time.Recovery is long and painful and many sleepless nights with continued tears shed.We will not stop until these predators are found out.Not one child is safe around them. They presently have 8 children between the two families and two babies on the way!

Sturgcumberford
Sturgcumberford

A youth pastor! Why am I not surprised!The church is packed with these wolves in sheep clothing praying with and preying on our children.Wake up churches and stop being afraid to hold sermons and prayer groups addressoing these sick perverts! My two grandchildren were abused by a family member and even though my daughter won a land slide civil case.Involving full legal and physical custody and name and birth certificate name change.We are still pushing for criminal charges! The adults involved work ,what else but in churches and with children.They are smarter and do a better job at what they dothan the DFS Police and Dectitive do!By the time all legal mistakes were made these guys wiped themselves clean and submerged themselves deeper into the church and Gods word.We are working hard at finding pictures and movies made of our grandchildren.They remain in therapy for post traumatic stress snydrome and we remain heart broken.To hear the words and see the children act out what was done to them takes apart of our heart each time.Recovery is long and painful and many sleepless nights with continued tears shed.We will not stop until these predators are found out.Not one child is safe around them. They presently have 8 children between the two families and two babies on the way!

Sturgcumberford
Sturgcumberford

A youth pastor! Why am I not surprised!The church is packed with these wolves in sheep clothing praying with and preying on our children.Wake up churches and stop being afraid to hold sermons and prayer groups addressoing these sick perverts! My two grandchildren were abused by a family member and even though my daughter won a land slide civil case.Involving full legal and physical custody and name and birth certificate name change.We are still pushing for criminal charges! The adults involved work ,what else but in churches and with children.They are smarter and do a better job at what they dothan the DFS Police and Dectitive do!By the time all legal mistakes were made these guys wiped themselves clean and submerged themselves deeper into the church and Gods word.We are working hard at finding pictures and movies made of our grandchildren.They remain in therapy for post traumatic stress snydrome and we remain heart broken.To hear the words and see the children act out what was done to them takes apart of our heart each time.Recovery is long and painful and many sleepless nights with continued tears shed.We will not stop until these predators are found out.Not one child is safe around them. They presently have 8 children between the two families and two babies on the way!

Mark Serati
Mark Serati

Why don't you publicly post the list from the Lost Boy investigation? Too many politicians, lawyers, judges and law enforcement officials on the list? Why is the list being dismantled?

 
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