The Justice Department charged 72 members of an online child pornography ring. Members were encouraged to have sex with children ages 12 and under and turn in material. A massive private database of images and videos on the internet were discovered in the bust. 

The bust was enabled by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, which targeted 500 individuals on five continents for participating in "Dreamboard," an online bulletin board that actively encourages sharing of child pornography. 

"The members of this criminal network shared a demented dream to create the preeminent online community for the promotion of child sexual exploitation," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. "But for the children they victimized, this was nothing short of a nightmare," he added. Individuals were unable to join the site unless they posted their own child pornography, said court documents filed in Louisiana. Individuals maintained membership by continuously uploading images of sexual abuse. Members were also rewarded with less restricted access to the site by submitting more images. 

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the equivalent of 16,000 DVDs of child pornography were distributed, and more than one million images have been recovered in the U.S. alone. 

The "Super Hardcore" section only accepted videos of children who were "crying," court documents revealed. Some of the victims were infants.

Fifty-two people were arrested in the U.S. and abroad. Thirteen have pled guilty and may receive 20 to 30 years in prison. Twenty people remain at large.

"The dismantling of Dreamboard is another stark warning to would-be child predators who think they can trade in child pornography and commit heinous acts against innocent children while hiding behind pseudonyms and other technological tricks," John Morton, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement director, said in a statement.