Osama bin Laden was killed and famed Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger was arrested, leaving the FBI with two empty spaces on its top Ten Most Wanted list.
The bureau filled one of those spots Tuesday with a former D.C. private school teacher wanted for allegedly producing pornography of young boys.
Authorities said Eric Justin Toth, who also goes by the name David Bussone, has been on the run since June 2008, when another teacher discovered pornographic images on a school camera Toth had been using.
Toth had been a third-grade teacher for three years at the prestigious Beauvoir school on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral.
Officials said Toth was selected for the list because the FBI believes he is a threat to the community — and that the public will call in a tip about him.
“We have every reason to believe he’s committing these crimes as we speak,” said Kevin Perkins, head of the FBI’s criminal and cyber branch. “I have a good level of confidence we’ll be able to find him based on a public tip.”
Perkins said of the 460 people from the list who have been captured since its inception in 1950, about a third were caught because someone in their community recognized them.
Toth was picked from a group of wanted criminals submitted to the FBI from its 56 field offices. He had previously been on the most wanted list of the Washington field office and featured in an “America’s Most Wanted” broadcast.
Toth, who lived in Montgomery County, has worked as a male nanny, teaching assistant and youth counselor, the FBI said.
In 2008, his car was found at Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport with an apparent suicide note suggesting that he planned to kill himself in a nearby lake. He is believed to have traveled to Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Investigators believe he may have lived in Arizona as recently as 2009. He could be living in a homeless shelter, the FBI said.
Toth, now 30, is described as 6-foot-3 and weighing about 155 pounds. He has brown hair, green eyes and a medium complexion. Toth has a distinguishable mole under his left eye, authorities said.
Investigators call him a “computer expert” and believe he regularly uses the Internet and social networking Web sites.
He is believed to advertise his services online as a tutor or male nanny. Toth attended Cornell University for a year and transferred to Purdue University, where he graduated with a degree in education.
He has been indicted in Maryland federal court on charges of producing child pornography. Warrants have been issued for his arrest in the District and Maryland.
A reward of up to $100,000 is available for information leading to his arrest.
The other spot on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list is still vacant.
“It could take months to pick somebody,” Perkins said. “You have to weigh one guy against another.”