David Caza's wanderings from eastern Ontario to the B.C. Interior over the past decade made plain the challenges that society faces in dealing with recidivist pedophiles.
Mr. Caza has a lengthy record for sex offences involving children, has refused treatment and was drummed out of one town by locals. He thought he had found refuge in the online world, taking precautions so no one would discover his large, well-ordered collection of child pornography.
He was wrong. Through the persistent cyber-sleuthing of Detective Paul Krawczyk of the Toronto Police Services' sex-crimes unit, police discovered that he was in trouble again.
That sleuthing succeeded even with Mr. Caza aware of law enforcement's monitoring, and the seemingly elaborate efforts he took to conceal his activities. "I know the Internet is watched," he said when officers interviewed him at their RCMP detachment.
His Internet account was in the name of an ex-roommate. The computer hard drive holding his child porn had no identifying marks and could be quickly swapped with another memory device.
In the end, it made no difference. The RCMP officers arrested the notorious pedophile and searched his apartment in Kamloops, B.C.
Two weeks ago, a judge found him guilty of possession and distribution of child pornography.
On Thursday, a B.C. court will hold a hearing to determine whether Mr. Caza has to undergo an assessment to have him designated a long-term offender.
Officers investigating the trade of child pornography often monitor peer-to-peer sharing networks such as Gnutella, Kazaa or eDonkey, where users can search folders on the computers of other subscribers and then swap files.
In the fall of 2009, Det. Krawczyk was involved in a police operation code-named Project Sanctuary. It focused on a peer-to-peer service called GigaTribe, which only allows file sharing between users who have accepted each other as contacts.
Going undercover on GigaTribe, the Toronto detective had made contact with a user who was trading images of child sexual abuse.
On Nov. 19, Det. Krawczyk was able to download several files from the user's computer, then he identified the suspect's Internet Protocol (IP) address.
The account associated with that IP address was located in Conception Bay South, southwest of St. John's.
It belonged to an Anglican priest, Rev. Robin Barrett.
On Tuesday Dec. 8, 2009, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary arrested Mr. Barrett at his home.
They seized the 51-year-old priest's computer equipment – where they would find more than 3,400 videos and 31,000 pictures of child pornography – and recovered the password to his GigaTribe account.
Three days after the arrest, Det. Krawczyk logged onto Mr. Barrett's account and immediately changed the password to ensure he would be the only person with access.
Mr. Barrett had over a hundred GigaTribe contacts and one, with the user name, Devthedude2008, was connected so Det. Krawczyk was able to see that the contact's shared folder and its sexually explicit thumbnail images.
Four days later, Det. Krawczyk was able to download 20 images. He even engaged in an online chat with Devthedude2008, who, believing he was dealing with Mr. Barrett, asked: "What happened to your old stuff? like pics, and a vid I was in the middle of downloading."
Det. Krawczyk blamed Mr. Barrett's LaCie brand hard drive. "My stupid lacie [took]a dive."
Through the IP address, Det. Krawczyk identified Devthedude2008 as a resident of Gallatin, a small town in northern Tennessee. He contacted the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in nearby Nashville.
ICE agents identified the suspect as Dan Quail, a local YMCA employee. When they knocked on the door of his condo on Dec. 29 and explained the purpose of their visit, Mr. Quail said "shit" then asked immediately for a lawyer.
On his computer's external drive, agents found over 500 videos and 5,000 images of child pornography.
Mr. Quail was still waiting for his detention hearing when Det. Krawczyk got his GigaTribe password from the ICE agents in Tennessee and on Jan. 6, 2010, logged into the Devthedude2008 account.
Several messages had been sent to Mr. Quail while his computer was disconnected, from a contact named Paper123boy.
Paper123boy was offering to share child pornography and mentioned "live" video of school boys.
The detective was able to browse and download child porn from Paper123boy's shared folder. He then captured the IP address, which was owned by Shaw Communications.
According to Shaw, the IP address was used at the time by one Brian Feltham, at 34-110 Columbia Street in Kamloops.
Det. Krawczyk Google-searched Mr. Feltham and found a dating profile for a 23-year-old man looking for women. The 110 Columbia Street address, however, seemed to fit. It was across the street from a Catholic school.
The RCMP's Kamloops detachment was contacted.
The address was about approximately 10 minutes away and the tenant at apartment 34 was known to them. It was Mr. Caza.
He already had a handful of sex-related convictions as a child molester when he made national headlines in 2000, when he was on a Canada-wide warrant for failing to turn up for sex-treatment courses.
Before he was arrested for shoplifting in Belleville, Ont., he had obtained a bogus birth certificate in an attempt to build a new identity.
"He is a well-nigh incorrigible offender," the B.C. Court of Appeal said when Mr. Caza was in Cranbrook in 2004 and was sentenced for breaching an order that he stay away from children.
He later resettled in Merritt, B.C., but had to check himself into a jail cell for his safety after locals protested.
In Kamloops, he lived in an old motel-like block, housing mostly people with mental or substance-abuse issues. The landlord was in good terms with Mr. Caza and sometimes had coffee with him. They would also go scavenge at dumpsters together.
Mr. Feltham briefly lived with Mr. Caza in 2007 and had an Internet account with Shaw. For the next 2 1/2 years, Mr. Caza kept the account, paying for it with postal money orders.
After obtaining a search warrant, RCMP officers placed the building under surveillance on January 13, 2010. Shortly before 1 p.m., they knocked on the door of Mr. Caza's tiny apartment.
There was a delay of more than half a minute before he answered.
Inside, the Mounties seized a computer tower with one of its sides removed, which would have made it easy to remove the hard drive.
There was an 80-gigabyte hard drive inside the machine. No child pornography was stored on the device. However it had not been accessed since November, 2009.
The RCMP did find DVDs and CDs that contained images of child pornography. In a second search a week later, the Mounties retrieved another hard drive, with a 500-gigabyte memory.
The label and markings on that second device had been removed but investigators found a serial number that proved it had been sold to Mr. Caza.
Inside the 500-gigabyte hard drive, police found 50,931 digital images and 3,442 video files of children, mostly young boys, in sex acts, including scenes of bondage, rape and bestiality, along with GigaTribe software for the Paper123boy account.
"The only reasonable inference to draw is that Mr. Caza was the person who controlled that computer .... The 500-gigabyte hard drive was shut down ungracefully at approximately the same time the police were knocking on the door. Mr. Caza was the only occupant of the apartment at that time," Mr. Justice Robert Powers said in a ruling earlier this month that found Mr. Caza guilty.
During the holiday season of 2009, Det. Krawczyk had played a key role in Project Sanctuary.
Police said they had identified and rescued 25 children from sexual abuse.
The probe concluded with the arrest of 57 men in four countries.
The suspects included a professional clown and Daniel Clayton, a Calgary security expert. In Toronto, one suspect, York University space researcher Richard Dyde, committed suicide in December 2010, a day after his arrest.
In Newfoundland, the Anglican priest, Mr. Barrett, eventually pleaded guilty to owning and distributing child pornography and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years.
In Tennessee, Mr. Quail got a sentence of 16 years and 10 months. He is appealing.
And while he awaits sentencing, Mr. Caza will find out Thursday whether he will be assessed to be designated a long-term offender, meaning he would be under supervision for 10 years after his release.
With files from Ian Bailey