CONCORD | A Derry man and a Hampstead man were among 13 people arrested in a statewide child pornography investigation that yielded thousands of images of children being abused.

David Curtis, 42, of Derry and Ryan St. Jean, 18, of Hampstead face felony charges of looking at and exchanging pictures of "child sexual abuse," Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said yesterday at a press conference in Concord.

Nine juveniles whose names could not be released were arrested in addition to the 13 adults. Some of the images seized in the investigation involved children as young as 3 years old being raped, or as young as 9 years old engaging in sexual acts.

Curtis, St. Jean and the others charged in the investigation have been indicted and could face up to seven years in jail if convicted.

The six-month investigation led by the Northern New England Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the U.S. attorney's office and the U.S. Secret Service involved 20 police departments, including Derry and Pelham. Additional arrests are expected, Ayotte said.

Ayotte called the investigation an "unprecedented effort," and a significant step toward stopping the trafficking of child pornography in New Hampshire.

"When you look at the images being traded, it's truly disturbing," she said. "This was an unbelievable amount of cooperation ... to arrest individuals involved in trading images of sexual abuse."

"They're some of the most horrendous images that anyone can see," said Portsmouth police Chief Michael Magnant, whose department heads up the Northern New England Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Magnant said some of the images could even have been manufactured in New Hampshire because they are very easy to make.

Over the course of the investigation, police served 40 search warrants. Each of the 13 people was arrested during that period, and their connection to the investigation revealed yesterday.

None of the people who were arrested worked directly with children, but some had children of their own between the ages of 12 and 16. Ayotte said there was no indication any of those children were abused.

In addition to the 13 people whose names were released yesterday, nine juveniles were arrested. Police wouldn't release their ages or where they live.

Police would reveal little about how they found the people other than to say that most of the work was done online through an undercover operation. They said no officers posed as people who were interested in buying or trading child pornography.

Lt. Tim Brownell, commander of the Northern New England Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said the investigation involved using file-sharing software, which allows access to other people's files. He said those who are trading child pornography title the images with specific names describing exactly what the pictures show.

Using a file-sharing program, Derry and Pelham police, along with departments statewide, conducted undercover online surveillance.

Of those arrested, one was a registered sex offender, one a drug dealer and another a fugitive from justice. Two of the men were downloading pornography when police arrived to arrest them.

Charles Lyons, 33, of Hudson had a server set up in his basement that was specifically devoted to downloading child pornography, Brownell said. Police found a large amount of Viagra near the computer of James Skerry, 62, of Raymond.



Who was arrested?*

Juan Castaner, 22, of Manchester

David Curtis, 42, of Derry

Jessica Doty, 20, of Manchester

John Fironini, age not available, of North Hampton

Matthew Greenwood, 27, of Dover

Jeremy Leavis, 32, of Epping

Charles Lyons, 33, of Hudson

David Martinuk, 41, of Rye

Nicholas Plourde, age not available, of Meredith

Patrick Roddy, 51, of Portsmouth

Ryan St. Jean, 18, of Hampstead

James Skerry, 62, of Raymond

* Police said they did not have the name of the 13th person who was arrested.



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