Slain FBI agents work to protect children from addicts

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – FBI agent Daniel Alphin gained international attention when he led a team that was shutting down a major worldwide child pornography website. Agent Laura Schwartzenberger worked more anonymously, teaching children and adults how to avoid online sexual abuse

Alphin and Schwartzenberger fired the gun on Tuesday, while a child pornography suspect serving search warrants in a South Florida apartment, devoted his career to catching criminals who sexually abuse youth, often over the legal limits of computer privacy Do the test.

“We are still in the news,” said Shelly Allwang, director of the Exploited Children’s Division at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “I feel fortunate to work with those who made such a commitment and determination.”

The suspect was identified Wednesday as 55-year-old David Huber, who lived in the apartment complex. A law enforcement official familiar with the matter said investigators were looking into whether Hoeber would be using a camera to monitor agents’ activity before opening fire, and believed a door Several shots were fired. Officials could not publicly discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Three other agents were injured, two of whom were hospitalized. One of the hospitalized agents was released on Wednesday, while the other was in stable condition as of Tuesday. The third agent was treated at the scene. Huber apparently killed himself after an impasse.

A Florida court recorded Huber with only minor traffic violations. He had no list as a sex offender and did not have a Florida jail record. Records show that he owned computer consulting businesses from 2008 until last year. Broward County records indicate that they divorced in 2016.

Alphin, 36, and an agent of about 13, made headlines seven years ago when he led a team that came down from Naples, Florida, the lead administrator of Playpen, the world’s largest child pornography website. Steven Chase had created a website on Tor, an open network on the Internet where users could communicate anonymously through “hidden service” websites.

Playpen had over 150,000 users worldwide. Members uploaded and viewed tens of thousands of graphic images of young victims, including age, gender, and types of sexual activity. The FBI launched an investigation in 2014 after Plaype’s IP address was accidentally revealed.

After Chase’s arrest in 2015, the FBI kept the website running for two weeks to identify other users, hiding malware in images to search for his IP address. With that effort, investigators sent more than 1,000 people and thousands of foreign law enforcement agencies to FBI’s field offices nationwide.

According to the FBI, 350 arrests were made in the US and 548 internationally, including 25 producers of child pornography and 51 addicts. The operation identified or rescued 55 American children who were sexually abused and 296 internationally. It has been 30 years for Chase.

“It is the same with any criminal violation: we adapt as they get smarter; We find them, ”said Alphin at the time. The New York native said, “It’s a cat and mouse game, except it’s not a game. Children are being abused, and it’s our job to stop it.” He was married and had one child Was.

Alvin, who worked with Alphin on the Playpen investigation, said he is humble, cooperative and committed to the mission of preventing child abuse.

“Dan was unbreakable and had the determination to try and rescue as many children as he could find,” Allwang said. “It was never about ego or credit or anything of the sort. He was just a selfless and supportive person. “

Schwartzenberger, an agent for 43 and 15 years, was part of Rockaway Middle School’s law study magnet program teaching children about the dangers of the Internet, including sexual abuse and cyber attack.

The Miami school said in a statement in Pueblo, Colorado, “I always say, ‘I think coming here and talking about the hard thing means that I won’t be able to see you guys till my end.”

Allwang said Schwartzenberger was “a wonderful collaborator” who always shared any information about his affairs, which could be helpful to the center.

Allwang said, “Laura was committed to seeing how to get that information so that those children could be helped.”

In 2018, Schwartzenberger, a married mother of two, did a TV interview where she discussed “sexploitation” on a computer, where hackers claim they used a person’s computer camera to record videos that showed them pornography or Looking naked If the person does not extort, they threaten to send the video to spouse, relatives and friends. Occasionally, they hack into the victim’s computer and find sexually explicit images.

“It’s very painful for the victim,” Schwartzenberger told WPEC-TV. “His reputation is on the line.”

Attempts to reach the families of the agents on Wednesday were not immediately successful.

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