A North Tonawanda shipping company played a key role in unlocking an international child pornography case, federal agents said this week.
Agents investigating a janitor videotaping boys and girls using the bathrooms at a private school in Atlanta were able to crack the case and broaden their investigation, in part through evidence uncovered at the local shipping company.
There is no evidence that the company, which agents did not name in court papers, had any knowledge of child porn videos that were being channeled through North Tonawanda from a Canadian company to the Atlanta janitor. But agents raided the North Tonawanda company and found addresses on records and shipping labels there, helping their investigation, according to a federal criminal complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court in Northern Georgia.
North Tonawanda Police Chief Randy Szukala said Thursday that he only recently learned about the city connection to the federal case. The janitor, Josh Ensley, 51, was charged last week with possessing child pornography and secretly videotaping young children in the school’s bathrooms. He is accused of receiving visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct between September 2008 and March 2011. These videos allegedly had been shipped through the North Tonawanda company.
Jeff Adkins, of the Postal Inspection Service Atlanta Division, said postal agents began an inspection in October 2010 of an unnamed foreign movie production company that operated a website offering products for sale that were delivered through the U.S. Postal Service. He said more than 20 complaints had been made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Cyber Tips line, stating that the foreign company was offering child pornograhy videos.
Postal inspectors made several undercover online purchases in Brentwood, Tenn., using a credit card. A trace on the website found that it was run from Canada, Adkins said in court papers. The videos were then transferred to the North Tonawanda shipping facility before being sent to Tennessee. Shipping labels and business records confiscated during the North Tonawanda raid led to a number of addresses, including Ensley’s.
The complaint says he ordered more than 50 videos that appear to focus on pornographic images of boys, ages 8 to 14, and that agents discovered videos of children using the bathrooms at his school.