The FBI has a new name on their list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives with the inclusion of a former elementary school teacher accused of producing and possessing child pornography.
Eric J. Toth, also known as David Bussone, has been charged with criminal complaint of possessing child pornography in the District of Columbia and producing child pornography in the district of Maryland. Till date there are no allegations of internet distribution.
Toth has had a warrant out for his arrest since a camera containing pornographic images, determined to be in his possession last, was found in the private school where he taught third grade until June, 2008.
Once the photos were found, Toth fled to the Northwest Indiana where he stayed with family. In August of 2008, Minneapolis airport officials found Toth’s Honda sedan. It contained more child pornography and a suicide note. Investigators believe this was Toth’s ploy to throw investigators off his trail. Since then, he has been spotted in Phoenix, Arizona as recently as 2009.
“The biggest concern is that he is working with students somewhere because his experience is education,” said FBI spokeswoman Julie Maguire. “His background is geared towards working with students as a teacher, as a tutor, as a nanny, and we’re very concerned that he has engaged in that sort of job again and that he’s in contact with students.”
While he hasn’t faced previous charges, Toth has a long history of working with children. As a teenager, he was camp counselor in an all-boys summer camp in Wisconsin. After spending a year at Cornell, Toth transferred to Purdue University Calumet where he graduated with a degree in Education. At Purdue, he was involved in student teaching. When he moved to D.C. he began tutoring children outside school.
The FBI’s wanted poster describes Toth as a computer expert. A regular user of the Internet and social networking sites, he also advertises his services as a tutor or nanny online. Also described as an “expert at social engineering”, Toth is very good at earning parents trust, many of whom leave him alone with their children.
Maguire confirmed that there has been more than one victim, most of who are below the age of twelve. The FBI is hoping that including Toth on the list encourages more victims to come forward.
Toth, 30, is 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs around 155 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes. The photographs on the FBI wanted poster, some of which are as recent as 2009, show a marked difference in his growth of facial hair and hair style, suggesting that Toth makes an effort to change his appearance as well. However, his one distinguishing feature is a mole under his left eye.
Filling the spot once held by Osama bin Laden, Toth marks the first fugitive added to the list since 2009. His inclusion signals the FBI’s increased efforts to crackdown on cybercrime, which includes child pornography. Cybercrime is currently one of the top five priorities of the FBI.
“The criteria to become a member of our Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List is pretty much two fold,” explained Maguire. “One is that the individual is known to be a danger to the public. The second is that the FBI feels that the added publicity would be beneficial to the case.”
Since the creation of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 1950, Toth is the 495th person whose name has been added, and the 4th fugitive added to the list for crimes against children.
“The list has been very, very successful,” said Maguire. “Out of the 465 apprehended, 153 were captured as a result of people calling in tips or citizen involvement.”
The FBI is currently a $100 000 reward for information leading to Toth’s arrest.