ELMHURST — A former Elmhurst resident has been arrested in connection with a local Internet crimes investigation dating back to June 2012.
Elmhurst police announced on Monday that Sgt. Andrew J. Curran, 28, of Green Bay, Wis., was arrested in March on two felony counts of identity theft and five counts of unlawful possession of child pornography in Brown County, Wis.
In August 2012, investigators from the Ashwaubenon Department of Public Safety in Wisconsin and the Elmhurst Police Department, along with the Naval Criminal Investigative Services, began to investigate Curran. The U.S. Marine recruiter worked in the Ashwaubenon Armed Forces Recruiting office.
According to a news release from the Wisconsin agency, Curran allegedly gained access to user names and passwords for personal Facebook or email accounts belonging to young recruits to check their backgrounds, but additionally used them to solicit young female acquaintances of the recruits and pretend to be the recruit who was in boot camp.
Police allege Curran would then solicit nude photographs of the recruit’s female acquaintances, and also solicit their email addresses and passwords, telling them he couldn’t access his own email.
At the same time, Elmhurst police reported investigating a similar case of computer hackers breaking into victims’ email accounts and posting nude pictures of girls on a pornographic website. When police traced the computer’s IP address, it led investigators to a U.S. government server.
Curran is alleged to have had conversations with more than 40 women, hacking into nearly as many computers and stealing “intimate” photos that he would repost on other websites, according to the news release.
In addition, investigators obtained a search warrant for Curran’s home and recovered a computer containing numerous images of child pornography.
The ages of the female victims were not released.
Meanwhile, Curran’s local case began in June 2012 when Elmhurst police initiated an investigation into numerous email and online photo storage accounts that had been accessed without the owners’ consent, with “numerous” female victims’ photographs posted on a pornographic website.
Elmhurst police identified four suspects in the case, including Curran, who allegedly accessed the email accounts or photo storage systems and posted the photos.
Charged in June 2012 were:
• Andrew J. Kubicz, 20, of Elmhurst. Kubicz was charged with five misdemeanor counts of harassment through electronic communications;
• Steven W. Jane, 23, of Elmhurst. Jane was charged with three misdemeanor counts of harassment through electronic communications;
• and Thomas J. Demars, 26, of Elmhurst. Demars was charged with one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to commit computer tampering. He pleaded guilty to the charge on March 20 in DuPage County Circuit Court.
The cases for Jane and Kubicz are still pending.
Curran, who previously lived in Elmhurst, was arrested after an investigation through the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.
His charges are currently pending in Wisconsin, where he is being held on $100,000 bond.