A Laguna Beach man has been accused of participating in an international child pornography ring that was recently broken up through the efforts of global law enforcement, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Anthony Jasso, 46, pleaded guilty in May to federal allegations that he traded images over the Internet and attended a Southern California club called Boy Lovers to watch child erotica. He also attended events involving children, the attorney's office stated in a news release.
Jasso, who is in custody, will be sentenced March 7, according to Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.
Jasso was one of five defendants who have pleaded guilty. He faces at least 15 years in prison, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Two other defendants are expected to plead guilty soon, and seven others are scheduled to go to trial, according to the release.
Jasso used the moniker "Bottles&Cans" to hide his identity in the ring, according to prosecutors.
Jasso was a musician in Laguna Beach and south Orange County. He also lived in Redlands.
Sixteen male defendants are being prosecuted in the case. Investigators have identified 35 members of a secret Internet bulletin board called Lost Boy, 15 from the U.S., and the rest from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and New Zealand.
"The Lost Boy bulletin board allowed members to access pornographic images of hundreds of boys who were victimized for sexual purposes," said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. "As a result of this investigation, authorities also discovered individuals who abused children, made their own child pornography and shared their disturbing product with others on the Internet."
They also allegedly published a how-to "handbook" on how adult males can find and groom boys for sex, as well as evade authorities, according to the release.
"The Lost Boy case represents a global subculture that exists for the purpose of trading of child pornography and other tools used to sexually exploit children," Steven Martinez, assistant director in charge of the FBI in Los Angeles, said in the release.