WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 18: U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. (R), U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski (L) and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson (2nd L) listen during a joint news conference March 18, 2014 in Washington, DC. Secretary Johnson held the press availability with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana to announce the results of "a major international operation involving an underground child pornography website." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson (center), US Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. (right), and US Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski (left) held a joint news conference on March 18, 2014 in Washington, DC to announce the results of "a major international operation involving an underground child pornography website."
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Federal investigators are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man between 40 and 50 years old who is suspected of distributing child pornography as part of a massive international network.

“John Doe,” whose real name may be Shaun, is the only remaining suspected administrator of an underground child pornography website, involving victims in 39 states, including Connecticut, and five countries, officials said in a statement.

The man is believed to be living within a 100-mile radius of New Haven, Connecticut, according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit. Investigators believe he works in construction management and may have previously worked as a director of IT or information security. The suspect is believed to have degrees in electrical engineering and construction management and is proficient in computer programming. He also travels regularly and may have a family member living in Hamburg, Germany, whom he planned to visit in late spring this year, according to investigators.

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HSI Boston investigators have been unable to identify “John Doe” and agents do not have a photo of the suspect.

According to investigators, the underground child pornography website was operated via Tor, a free software that allows users to hide their identity. In March, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that fourteen men accused of operating the website were arrested and charged with conspiracy to operate a child exploitation enterprise, as part of an investigation called Operation Round Table.

“Never before in the history of this agency have we identified and located this many minor victims in the course of a single child exploitation investigation,” ICE Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale said at the time. “Our agency is seeing a growing trend where children are being enticed, tricked and coerced online by adults to produce sexually explicit material of themselves. While we will continue to prioritize the arrest of child predators, we cannot arrest our way out of this problem: education is the key to prevention.”

According to officials, the website operated from June 2012 until June 2013, at which point the site had more than 2,000 videos and had more than 27,000 members.

The website’s primary administrator, Jonathan Johnson, 27, of Abita Springs, La., admitted to creating multiple fake female personas on popular social networking sites to target and sexually exploit children, according to officials. Johnson has been in federal custody since June 13, 2013 and faces 20 years to life in prison.

Authorities said the investigation into the website is one of the largest online child exploitation investigations in history. As a result of the investigation, 251 victims have been identified, including 228 in the US and 23 in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Belgium.

Most of the victims (159) were between 13 and 15 years old and two victims were 3 years old or younger. Fifty nine victims were between 16 and 17 years old, 26 victims were between 10 and 12 years old, four victims were between 7 and 9 years old, and one victim was between 4 and 6 years old. Most of the victims (243) were male and eight of the victims were female.

Anyone with information about “John Doe” should call the HSI tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or submit tips online here.