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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 30, 2013

Leitchfield, Kentucky Man Guilty Of Possession And Distribution Of Child Pornography Images

OWENSBORO, Ky. - A Leitchfield, Kentucky, man pleaded guilty this week, in United States District Court, before Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin, to a three-count federal grand jury indictment charging him with violating federal child pornography laws including the possession and distribution of child pornography announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Michael Brandon Thompson, age 29, admitted in court to using a peer to peer file sharing network to allow others to download images of child pornography between July 18, 2011 and September 2, 2011. According to the factual basis found in an Affidavit attached to a Criminal Complaint, a detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department, utilizing the peer-to-peer file sharing network downloaded several password-protected files from Thompson. During the download, the detective was able to preview approximately 300 video files containing images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The Colorado law enforcement official forwarded the lead to the Kentucky State Police who executed a state search warrant on Thompson’s home. They seized computer equipment and storage devices for digital media. A forensic examination of those items revealed tens of thousands of videos and still images of child pornography, including the depictions of infants being sexually abused.

Thompson faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. The maximum potential penalties are 50 years in prison, a fine of $750,000 and a period of supervised release of at least 5 years and could be for the remainder of his life. Sentencing is scheduled before Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. on November 15, 2013, in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless prosecuted the case. The Kentucky State Police conducted the investigation through Kentucky’s Internet Crimes Against Children “ICAC” task force..

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."