Published: Mar 18, 2014 6:34 PM EDT

WASHINGTON - Fourteen men operating a child pornography website on the Darknet's Onion Router, also known as Tor, have been arrested and charged as part of a conspiracy to operate a child exploitation ring, following an extensive international investigation by Homeland Security. Eleven have been federally charged in the Eastern District of Louisiana and three in other districts. All are in federal custody.

There are victims in 39 states and five countries, including two right here in Fort Myers.

So far, investigators have identified 251 minor victims. Eight of the victims were female and 243 were male. The majority of victims were between 13 and 15 years old. All victims have been contacted by law enforcement, and U.S. victims offered support services from HSI victim assistance specialists.

The website's primary administrator, Jonathan Johnson, 27, of Abita Springs, La., has been charged with operating a child exploitation enterprise. He admitted to creating multiple fake female personas on popular social networks to target and sexually exploit children and to coaching other child predators in his inner circle to do the same. Jonathan Johnson has been in federal custody since his arrest June 13, 2013, and faces 20 years to life in prison.

The underground website was a hidden service board on the Tor network and operated from about June 2012 until June 2013, at which time the site contained more than 2,000 videos and had more than 27,000 members. The website shared webcam-captured videos of mostly juvenile boys enticed by the operators of the site to produce sexually explicit material. Tor enables online anonymity, directing Internet traffic through a volunteer network consisting of thousands of relays to conceal a user's location.

More than 300 investigations have been opened into potential subscribers of the website: 150 in the United States and 150 overseas. Investigators anticipate ongoing arrests and additional identification of victims as they continue to examine and analyze the more than 40 terabytes of data seized.

Last fiscal year, 2,099 child predators were arrested by HSI on criminal charges related to the online sexual exploitation of children. In 2012, 1,655 child predators were arrested, 1,335 were arrested in 2011, and 912 were arrested in 2010. Since 2003, HSI has initiated more than 29,000 cases and arrested more than 10,000 individuals for these types of crimes. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Tips can also be made through HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app, which can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/1eixbIM. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.