No one will ever know how many children will ultimately be saved due to the timeless efforts and heroic work of these agents.
Here is a breakdown of events.
Operation Holitna Timeline
In October 2009, Milford, Massachusetts man Robert Diduca sent child pornography photos to an undercover agent. The Sheraton hotel manager and married father of three took nearly a year off of the Internet, but was arrested in June 2011, once authorities had enough evidence to charge him. He was later convicted and, in June 2012, sentenced to 18 years in prison for his crimes. Diduca's online screenname was "Babytodd."
The image Diduca sent to agents was of an 18-month-old boy holding a stuffed bunny. The boy appeared distressed. It was determined he had been raped as he was seen in additional photos and videos recovered from Robert Diducas' child pornography collection of approximately 27,000 images.
Authorities began to track down the boy with the bunny.
Robert Mikelsons 'The Monster of Riga'
Two agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, in Boston, Massachusetts had worked the Diduca case. After receiving the photo of the little boy with the bunny, Diduca dropped off the Internet. Agents Gregory Squire and Peter Manning waited for Diduca's return. They wanted to bust him, but they
|Miffy, the bunny held by the little boy in the photos.|
ICE agents use many technological advances to break cases and find missing or abused children. This time, the little bunny held by the boy, as well as the orange sweater he wore would help identify him.
The agents suspected the boy was not from the United States, but could tell from the the videos and photos of him that the pornography was recent. There was hope he could be saved.
In Nov. 2010, the image of the little boy was sent to international crimes units in order to help locate him. When Nienke Kappelle of the National Dutch Police saw the photo, she suspected immediately the boy in the photos was Dutch.
The boy wore an orange sweater with black stripes. Kappelle sent a cropped image of the sweater out and the boy's story was featured on a Dutch show Opsporing Verzocht much like America's Most Wanted. Before long, the shop that sold the sweater was identified.
On Dec. 7, 2010, Dutch authorities were notified by a woman who claimed the boy in the photos was her son. She told them he had previously been babysat by a 27-year-old man named Robert Mikelsons.
Amsterdam's monster was revealed.
Robert Mikelsons and his husband Richard Van Ollfen were arrested on Dec. 7, 2010.
Press Announcement in Dutch of Robert Mikelsons and Richard Van Ollfen's arrest.
It was learned that Mikelsons had been a professional babysitter and worked in a number of day cares, as a nanny and even advertised on the Internet. Suddenly, what appeared to be a quest to save one boy turned into a mission to save hundreds. Robert Diduca's child porn collection contained approximately 27,000 images and videos. Combined with Mikelsons' collection of more than 50,000 child porn images and photos, Boston ICE's work was far from finished.
It had only begun.
Robert Mikelson's sentenced to 18-years.
Richard van Ollfen sentenced to six years.
Boston Ice Heads to Amsterdam
|Brandon Keith Jones|
In Jan. 2011, Boston ICE agents went to Amsterdam to review and collect evidence from Mikelsons' vast pornography collection. What began as a photo mistakenly sent by Robert Diduca had become the unraveling of an international pedophile ring. There was an excellent chance that more children could be saved.
After examining messages found on Diduca's computer, it was determined that a Mesa, Arizona, man was sexually abusing a child in a manner directed by Diduca. On Jan. 7, 2011, Brandon Keith Jones was arrested for sexually abusing his 5-year-old nephew.