A Florida man whom the Federal Bureau of Investigation says created the “world’s largest child pornography website” has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Steven W. Chase, 58, was arrested in February 2015, after a search of his Naples, Florida, home turned up thousands of images depicting the sexual abuse of children, many of whom were said to be barely kindergarten age. In September, Chase was found guilty of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, and for the possession, advertisement and transportation of child pornography.
Chase is the creator and former chief administrator of Playpen, a dark-net website that traded in child pornography, which reportedly had up to 250,000 members. Following his arrest, the FBI seized control of the website and—in a decision controversial to this day—kept it running for almost two weeks while distributing malware designed to unmask its visitors.