Posts Tagged ‘human resources manager’

Mara – Derek Richard - Sketcha

Queensland police operation wins international award for dismantling a child sex offender network

  • Brooke Baskin
  • From: The Courier-Mail
  • February 10, 2011 11:47AM

OPERATION Achilles, a Taskforce Argos operation that lead to the dismantling of an international child sex offender network, has won a major international award.

The team was named the winner of the annual International Law Enforcement Cybercrime Award 2011 by the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace in Canada.

The two-year operation resulted in the removal of more than 60 children from sexually abusive situations, the arrest of 22 network members across the globe, and the closure of four commercial child exploitation websites.

Significant arrests included 30-year-old Townsville postal worker Derek Richard Mara, who was sentenced to six years jail in March 2009.

Police investigations revealed the 30-year-old was a major player in a highly secretive web-based network.

Another Australian, a man from Victoria, was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in 2008.

Fourteen United States-based offenders were sentenced to a minimum of 16 years imprisonment, with the majority receiving life sentences.

Two United Kingdom offenders were sentenced to between two and 25 years imprisonment.

Deputy commissioner specialist operations Ross Barnett said the Achilles team had made a number of significant achievements.

“Taskforce Argos is a team recognised around the world for its work in targeting and apprehending the predators who prey on children and use the internet as an instrument to distribute and trade their appalling child abuse material,” he said.

Operation Ice Beau, which closed last month, led to the arrest of 27 people on 163 charges including using the internet to procure children, sexual offences against children and possession and distribution of child exploitation material.

It identified a 13-year-old Leicestershire child and a 10-year-old Russian child from seized child exploitation photos and videos. Both children were identified and rescued from further abuse.

A further six Russian children were subsequently identified and removed from sexual exploitation.

Australia Post manager helped run child porn ring

Amelia Bentley

July 24, 2009 – 2:15PM

An Australia Post worker found to have almost 80,000 child porn files in his home computer was a “core member” of a sophisticated online child pornography ring, a court has heard.

Derek Richard Mara, 30, a former postman and Australia Post human resources manager, was jailed for six years for his role in administrating a network of people with an interest in child pornography by the use of internet newsgroups.

He was sentenced in March this year in Townsville District Court where he pleaded guilty to three charges of using the internet to access and transmit child pornography between 2006 and 2009 and one charge of recording an indecent visual image of a child under the age of 16 between December 2007 and February 2008.

His sentencing judge described Mara’s collection of child porn as “a cache of depravity” and said he was shocked and disturbed by the material, some of which involved babies being sexually abused.

Of his six-year sentence, Mara was ordered to serve 32 months before he was to be released.

But Mara, a married father of three children, lodged an application for leave to appeal his sentence in the Queensland Court of Appeal.

In a judgement published today, the court dismissed his application, ruling the sentence was not excessive.

The court was told the group traded in a large quantity of child porn as well as purchasing and commissioning the production of child porn. The material was posted to newsgroups as files which were unable to be viewed by anyone who did have a “key” which involved sophisticated encryption and three levels of security.

In a bid to avoid detection, the group frequently changed nicknames used by members and constantly moved the newsgroup location but in January 2006 police infiltrated the group, which had 43 members.

Over nearly two years, officers collected more than 444,000 images and 1,100 video files of child porn which had been loaded up or advertised for use by the group.

In February last year, Mara was arrested and on an external hard drive of his computer police found 75,706 images of child porn and 763 video files of child porn.

Officers also recovered 1,206 images of child porn which had been deleted and 13 images as well as 40 movie files of child porn on his computer’s internal drive.

Inspecting his computer, it was revealed he had uploaded at least 116 video files of child porn for the group’s use between January 2006 and May 2007.

Paedophile gets six years jail for depravity


March 6th, 2009

THE Townsville-based key member of an international computer paedophile group, former postal worker Derek Richard Mara, has been jailed for six years. 

The Commonwealth prosecutor had asked for four-and-a-half years, but in a rare move, Judge Stuart Durward SC decided that that wasn’t enough for a man he described as having `a cruel, unnatural and disgusting perversion’.

Mara, 30, pleaded guilty to three counts of sending and receiving paedophile images after he was scooped up in a coordinated international crackdown on the group trading in hard-core child images and movies through a high-security computer system.

Mara was one of the four core members of the operation, known simply as The Group, who in 2004 helped set up sophisticated security systems using uncrackable encrypted codes to avoid detection.

After gathering information bit by bit over two years, a cyber detective with Queensland’s anti-paedophile Taskforce Argos managed to infiltrate the group in January 2006.

It took from January to August that year for the undercover agent to get a one-on-one password partner, giving him greater access to group messages.

One message, from a group member nicknamed Fannie Farmer, started out: “OK folks, this is the one you’ve been waiting for, the Daphne extra special video”.

After giving other financial information about the file, the message ended: “I probably don’t need to add that this video must remain your deepest, darkest secret. Do not EVER share it”.

Taskforce Argos passed this information and file on to Interpol, and as a result the child Daphne was traced and rescued, and arrests made in Belgium and Italy.

In February last year, Queensland police and FBI experts in the United States had fully identified Mara, and detectives raided Mara’s home and seized his computer and files.

The charges to which he pleaded arose from examination of the seized materials and interviews with him.

Judge Durward signalled his intentions early when he opened proceedings yesterday by asking both prosecution and defence counsel to make submissions that four-and-a-half years `may not be sufficient to reflect the gravity of the offending’.

While submissions were made from both sides that four-and-a-half years should be the top of the range, and the actual amount of time to be served should be the factor to be varied, the judge was unmoved and unconvinced.

`What you did was abhorrent,”  he told Mara.

“Ordinary members of the community would recoil in horror at the level of depravity if they knew what you had done.”

In a rare personal statement from the bench Judge Durward, commenting on the few images that had been handed up to him by counsel, said: “I was shocked and disturbed at what I saw”.

He noted the psychiatric report which described Mara as a Jekyll and Hyde character who had from time to time tried to leave the group, but had always returned, the judge observing `with some enthusiasm’.

In the end, balancing the different requirements of Queensland and Commonwealth law, the judge imposed a six-year sentence, directing that Mara be released on a three-year good behaviour bond and 18 months probation after serving 32 months.


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