Editor's Note: Trigger warning. Please proceed with caution.
The case involving one of eight men caught last year in Vermont has taken a turn for the much darker.
Operation "Bada Bing" last year caught eight men in Vermont during the week of May 13, 2019. The investigations started like so many others, after tips were forwarded from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to local Internet Crimes Against Children task forces.
At the time of the arrests, four were charged at the state level and four were charged federally.
Even at the time, the files found on Sean Fiore's computer were noted as "some of the most evil they had ever seen." He was identified as one of the four men that were charged federally.
"Videos of the most horrifying variety on his computer including, not just videos of child sexual abuse, which are horrific enough, but straight child torture, including the torture of babies," U.S. Attorney for Vermont Christina Nolan said.
WCAX reported last year that Fiore had been in chat rooms in which he is alleged to have asked another user to send him images of children being tortured. At the time of their reporting, Fiore had been released from custody but was said to be under supervision by the U.S. Probation office.
VT Digger cited Task Force Commander Matthew Raymond in stating that the number of images and videos, which had once seemed a finite number that officers would see repeatedly, had ballooned up to an estimated four million files online with more being produced daily. "And at the other end of that number," he said, "there are real children being abused."
Since his initial arrest on May 17, 2019, Fiore was initially charged with one count of possession of child pornography on May 24. On August 22 of that same year, the first Superseding Indictment was issued that added a single count of receipt of child pornography.
It was not until May 21, 2020 that Magistrate Judge Conroy ordered Fiore to be held in custody pending trial citing that he had violated terms and conditions of his pretrial release. What those violations were was not disclosed in the release.
August 13, 2020, a Second Superseding Indictment was issued which added another charge of "use of a facility of interstate and/or foreign commerce with the intent that a murder be committed for money (murder for hire)."
Earlier today the Department of Justice issued a press release through their Project Safe Childhood site indicating that 36-year-old Fiore has been indicted by a federal grand jury in a Third Superseding Indictment. He has now been charged with murder for hire, conspiracy to kidnap and murder a person overseas, and five child pornography offenses.
Fiore will be arraigned on the charges before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy at a date to be determined. He has been in custody at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in Vermont since May 20.
A second individual, identified only as "Codefendant #1" has also been charged in that indictment.
According to the release, Fiore contacted Codefendant #1 in another country and asked him to "make a video for him that depicted the beating, torture, and killing of a kidnapped adult male." According to the indictment, records were found that showed Fiore sent approximately $4,000 to Codefendant #1 for the making of the film.
On April 8, 2019 Fiore is said to have received a link within an email sent by Codefendant #1 to a video which "depicted the torture and apparent killing of an adult male who was restrained and tired to a bed."
Two of the child pornography counts charge that Fiore and Codefendant #1 "produced and attempted to produce, and conspired to produce" a video of child pornography. The final count alleges that the pair "received and attempted to receive, and aided and abetted the receipt, of video files" depicting child pornography.
The release did not indicate a possible sentence for Fiore should he be convicted stating only that his "sentence will be determined by the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines."