September 9, 2011
In 2008, when Kyle Burris struck up a conversation with a single mom of two young daughters in an online Chat Forum, he believed he had found another perfect target for his perversions. On his first day online with this mom, Kyle Burris emailed child porn images to the woman and began making plans to visit her in Montana from his home in New York. Special Agent Kevin Damuth, operating out of the Helena office which resides under the umbrella of the Salt Lake City field office, was euphoric. He couldn’t wait to meet his new boyfriend.
Kevin, a diversified pro, was not surprised when this particular Monster investigation spun off across the country. He already knew that from one conversation with one perp, hundreds more were in the background lurking and preying. He already knew that for every Monster he nabbed a hundred thousand more were waiting, secure in their safety, preying on children. He already knew that for every child he made safe, and safe again, from this one piece of garbage, several hundred thousand more were not, were still not, and would not be tomorrow.
Helena, Montana, Detective Bryan Fischer assumed the now downsided Kyle Burris’ online identity and homed right in on Russel Bradney of Sacramento, California, whom he traded messages with and garnered evidence. While Bryan chatted, the Sacramento FBI moved in and discovered Russel Bradney exchanging child porn photos with a friend in New Jersey, Thomas Elgert.
With Bradney now offline and cavorting with his newfound boyfriends from the FBI Innocent Images Task Force and the loving boys in blue with the Sacramento Police Department, Kevin Damuth went back online to be another unsuspecting mom looking in all the wrong places for Mr. Right. Kevin continued chats with Thomas Elgert in New Jersey and new buddy, Anthony Richards, in Maine. Detective Fischer, still undercover as Kyle Burris, closed the circle around the Montana “Mom” of two young girls.
In September, 2009, Kyle Burris, New York, was sentenced to 188 months in prison. In January, 2010, Ted Lewis Girdner, of California, was sentenced to 24 years in prison. In February, 2010, Anthony Scott Richards, of Maine, was sentenced to 168 months in prison. In April, 2010, Russell Bradney, of California, was sentenced to 120 months in prison. In May, 2010, Thomas M. Elgert, of New Jersey, was sentenced to 180 months in prison.
The detectives are lonely again.
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