Three men already charged with operating a large pornography ring in Silver Spring that solicited youngsters from the Baltimore area were charged yesterday with filming young boys in several motels in northern Anne Arundel County.
Anne Arundel police filed numerous charges against the men, two of whom were already in custody, having been arrested last month by Montgomery County police. A third man was arrested by federal agents on Thursday in Elizabeth, N.J.
Officer Terry Crowe, an Anne Arundel County police spokesman, said several explicit video tapes and photographs of boys were confiscated from the motels, which he declined to identify.
At least 15 boys between the ages of 11 and 15 were filmed or photographed in the Anne Arundel motels, police said.
The men allegedly recruited youngsters off the streets in Baltimore and Dundalk. "There may be some Anne Arundel County victims, but the majority of them will probably be from the city," Officer Crowe said.
The investigation began in early August, when a Baltimore woman notified police that she suspected one of the men was having sex with her 14-year-old son, the Washington Post reported two weeks ago.
On Aug. 21, the FBI and U.S. Postal Service searched a storage facility leased by one of the men in Lindenwald, N.J., and seized several hundred videos.
Charged with offenses in Anne Arundel are:
* Richard Pepe, 47, of Elizabeth, N.J., who was arrested Thursday and charged with 12 sex offenses, including sodomy, 4th-degree sex offense, solicitation to make child pornography and making child pornography.
Mr. Pepe, who police said is a sixth-grade teacher in New Jersey, was being held last night in the Union County Detention Center in New Jersey awaiting extradition to Maryland.
* Eric Edward Nastelin, 32, of Bond Brook, N.J., who was charged in a warrant with 22 sex offenses, including sodomy, perverted sex practices and filming child pornography. He was arrested Aug. 21 and was being held last night in the Union County Detention Center.
* John Glenford MacLeod, 62, of the 8100 block of Eastern Ave., Silver Spring, who was charged with 26 sex offenses, including producing child pornography and perverted sex practices. He was arrested Aug. 21 and was being held last night at the Montgomery County Detention Center.
A fourth suspect, Edmond Henry Lacroix, 60, who shared an apartment with Mr. MacLeod, was charged by Montgomery County police last month.
Police said that Mr. Pepe and Mr. Nastelin traveled from New Jersey to Maryland to participate and assist in the production of the tapes.
They then returned to New Jersey, where the tapes were copied and distributed, police said. Authorities charged Mr. MacLeod with recruiting the youngsters.
Sgt. Frank Young, head of the Montgomery County pedophile unit, told the Washington Post that police had identified at least 10 boys from the Baltimore area who were paid $250 a day to be filmed while engaging in sex acts.
The newspaper reported that Montgomery County police said that the men befriended the young boys at various teen-age hangouts, including a roller rink in Baltimore County, by buying them gifts and offering them money for accomplishments such as doing well in a track meet.
Police made their first arrests in the case after a surveillance team saw the men and five boys check into several motels in one day, the Post reported.
Anne Arundel's police spokesman, Officer Crowe, said that the county started its probe after getting a tip from Montgomery County authorities.
"They were the key to this," Officer Crowe said.
"They found out it was occurring in our county."