By Meredith Sharpe
The FBI announced a new addition to their Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list this last month. The fugitive is a child pornographer wanted in two states whose addition to the list, the FBI hopes, will aid in bringing him to justice.
Eric Justin Toth, 30, is a former elementary school teacher and camp counselor wanted for the alleged production of child pornography in Maryland and possession of child pornography in the District of Columbia. He has been on the run since June 2008, when a colleague at the Washington, D.C. elementary school where he worked found pornographic images of pre-pubescent children on a camera that was determined to have been in Toth’s possession. Though there is currently no evidence that Toth shared the images or distributed them over the internet, the incident drew attention from the FBI. “Child pornography is a federal crime,” explained FBI spokesperson Jacqueline Maguire. Toth, who has yet to be arrested or charged, fled immediately after the photographs surfaced. He was last sighted in 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona, where he operated under the name of David Bussone.
While Toth’s crimes may appear incongruous with those of the murderers and armed robbers who accompany him as the FBI’s most wanted, the Bureau believes that the exposure provided by the list, which holds an almost 95% success rate, will aid in bringing him to justice. Maguire claims that Toth’s apparent intelligence and ability for “social engineering” make him an extreme danger to the public. “He kind of grooms parents… he gets in good with the parents and earns the parents’ trust.” He has advertised online as a tutor and nanny in the past, and may do so again as long as he is at large.
Toth faces a minimum federal sentence of fifteen years if apprehended. The FBI has set up a hotline designated specifically for information related to his case, and encourages anyone with a tip to come forward.“People think that their information is insignificant or small, but that may not be the case,” stated Maguire. “We’re very concerned that he is in contact with students and they’re in danger. [With] guys like this, there is no on/off switch that he is going to stop having the desires that he has for young children.”