Charleston man sentenced to 22 years in prison in child sex exploitation case

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A 28-year-old Charleston man was sentenced to 22 years in prison for participating in a child exploitation operation.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley said 28-year-old Christopher Blackford, along with 39-year-old William Davis of Bristol, N.H., were sentenced on Monday in the Dreamboard child sex exploitation and child pornography site case.

According to evidence presented in court, Blackford joined Dreamboard on Dec. 29, 2009 and placed 84 online bulleted board posts containing child pornography. Davis was sentenced to 210 months in prison with a lifetime of supervised release. Authorities say Davis also posted on Dreamboard, offering to distribute child porn to other members of the board.

Blackford and Davis were charged in an indictment unsealed on Aug. 3, 2011. The charges were the result of Operation Delego, an investigation launched in December 2009 that targeted individuals around the world for their participation in Dreamboard. The board was a private, members-only, online bulletin board that was created and operated to promote pedophilia and encourage the sexual abuse of very young children in an environment designed to avoid law enforcement detection.

A total of 72 individuals, including Blackford and Davis, were charged as a result of Operation Delego.

"There is a lot of work to be done before most, if not all, online operations like this one can be stopped," Finley stated. "It took the work of many agencies, both domestic and international, to find and bring these defendants to justice. I want to thank all of the prosecutors and law enforcement agencies who were involved from the beginning and those who have seen this case through until now. We hope to make more arrests in the case and bring to justice all of the individuals who perpetrate such vile schemes that endanger children."

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