Child Porn Probe Leads To FBI Headquarters - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Child Porn Probe Leads To FBI Headquarters

THESMOKINGGUN.COM  - The government's pursuit of suspects trafficking in child pornography recently led federal agents to a familiar address--the FBI's Washington, D.C. headquarters, where a bureau official is the subject of an ongoing criminal probe, The Smoking Gun has learned.

The investigation by the Department of Justice's inspector general is focusing on FBI employee Joseph Bonsuk's receipt of nearly 80 illicit images that were e-mailed to him by an Illinois sex offender whose rap sheet includes felony convictions for bank robbery and solicitation of a minor.

In a telephone interview last night, Bonsuk, 51, acknowledged that he is under investigation, but said that the matter was a "misunderstanding" and a "mix-up." Bonsuk, who claimed he is cooperating with probers, said that FBI officials had told him yesterday not to discuss the ongoing investigation. While adding that he was "totally innocent," Bonsuk, pictured at right, said that he has not been told that he will avoid criminal charges.

That direction was apparently triggered by TSG inquiries to the agency's press office about Bonsuk. Kathy Wright, an FBI spokesperson, refused to disclose Bonsuk's job title, his responsibilities, or how long he has worked for the bureau. Claiming that FBI policy barred disclosure of such details about a public employee, Wright also declined to say whether Bonsuk's job status has changed in light of the child porn investigation.

Bonsuk told TSG that he works as an FBI management and program analyst.

Court records reveal that Bonsuk's name surfaced in the wake of an FBI probe of Ronald Norweathers, an Illinois felon who was arrested in December 2009 for allegedly sharing hundreds of illicit images and videos via the GigaTribe peer-to-peer network. A criminal complaint notes that Norweathers, 29, unknowingly allowed access to his child porn stash to three different undercover operatives.

Following his arrest, Norweathers, pictured at left, "voluntarily authorized the FBI to take over control of and use his ‘online presence.'" This tactic allows agents to secretly assume control of a suspect's screen names, nicknames, and e-mail addresses, which can provide immediate access to networks of child porn traders.

While reviewing a Yahoo account used by Norweathers, FBI agents discovered "several exchanges" with an AOL e-mail account. One March 2009 correspondence from Norweathers to the AOL account included a file with 78 child porn images. After the file was sent, Norweathers received an e-mail from the AOL account saying, "I don't want kiddie porn scary." Norweathers responded, "well duh pick through for the teen stuff I sent how it came to me."

A subsequent subpoena revealed that Bonsuk was the AOL account's subscriber. His contact information included telephone numbers at his Baltimore home and "day telephone number (202) 324-8494, which is a number at FBI Headquarters," according to an affidavit sworn by a Department of Justice investigator.

After realizing that Bonsuk worked for the FBI, investigators secretly copied the hard drive of Bonsuk's office computer. While a forensic examination did not turn up any illicit images, a variety of evidence retrieved from the machine linked him to the AOL address "utilized by Bonsuk on March 13, 2009 to receive child pornography."

At Bonsuk's request, a TSG reporter forwarded him a search warrant that recently allowed agents to seize a "CD containing e-mail content" from his AOL account. He did not reply to messages left for him this morning seeking comment on the warrant's contents.

Norweathers, who spent about four years in federal prison for his bank robbery and solicitation convictions, is currently being held without bail at the federal lockup in Chicago. He was named in a four-count July 2010 indictment charging him with possession and distribution of child pornography.

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Detectives identify woman found in Spokane River

    Detectives identify woman found in Spokane River

    Thursday, September 20 2018 8:35 PM EDT2018-09-21 00:35:31 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Detectives have identified the woman found in the Spokane River September 15 just hours after releasing a rending of what she may have looked like. Detectives continue to work to determine what occurred prior to her death.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Detectives have identified the woman found in the Spokane River September 15 just hours after releasing a rending of what she may have looked like. Detectives continue to work to determine what occurred prior to her death.

    >>
  • DVR cuts ties with contractor, leaving hundreds of disabled people hanging in Spokane

    DVR cuts ties with contractor, leaving hundreds of disabled people hanging in Spokane

    Saturday, September 22 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-09-22 05:30:53 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is a life-changing resource for hundreds of disabled people in Spokane. Finding them jobs, counseling and places to live. A big part of the agency's mission is at a standstill after DVR cut ties with one of it's major contractors without warning. For twenty-seven years, Compass has been a one-stop shop for launching disabled and disadvantaged residents on a path to a better, independent life. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is a life-changing resource for hundreds of disabled people in Spokane. Finding them jobs, counseling and places to live. A big part of the agency's mission is at a standstill after DVR cut ties with one of it's major contractors without warning. For twenty-seven years, Compass has been a one-stop shop for launching disabled and disadvantaged residents on a path to a better, independent life. 

    >>
  • Psychiatric hospital coming to Spokane

    Psychiatric hospital coming to Spokane

    Friday, September 21 2018 12:17 PM EDT2018-09-21 16:17:08 GMT
    The three finalists bidding for the Riverfront Park project visited Spokane todayThe three finalists bidding for the Riverfront Park project visited Spokane today

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A new 100-bed psychiatric hospital is coming to Spokane.    The Inland Northwest Behavioral Health hospital, which opens to patients in October, will have about 200 employees.    The Spokesman-Review says the $33 million facility will be split into four units, each with 25 beds for inpatient services. One unit will be reserved for adolescent patients between the ages of 13 and 17.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A new 100-bed psychiatric hospital is coming to Spokane.    The Inland Northwest Behavioral Health hospital, which opens to patients in October, will have about 200 employees.    The Spokesman-Review says the $33 million facility will be split into four units, each with 25 beds for inpatient services. One unit will be reserved for adolescent patients between the ages of 13 and 17.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/