victed Sex Offender Nets Nine Years in Federal Prison on Failure to Register, Child Pornography Charges
Montgomery, Alabama - Anthony Allen Armstrong, 38, of Chipley, Florida, has been sentenced to serve 110 months in federal prison for failing to register as a convicted sex offender and for knowingly possessing child pornography, United States Attorney George L. Beck, Jr., announced today. Armstrong pled guilty to the charges back in November 2011. The sentence of nine years and two months handed down by United States District Judge Mark E. Fuller falls just shy of the 10-year maximum prescribed by law for each charge and was agreed upon by the parties as part of a written plea agreement.
The investigation of Armstrong began in December 2010, when officers with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office received a tip that marijuana was being cultivated on a piece of property in Cottonwood, Alabama. When officers arrived, they found dozens of marijuana plants growing inside a homemade greenhouse and Armstrong in possession of the property. Investigators subsequently learned that, in 2004, Armstrong had been convicted in the State of Florida for engaging in unlawful sexual activity with two 17-year-old girls. Under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, and as a result of his convictions, Armstrong was required to register as a convicted sex offender in the jurisdiction in which he lived. The United States Marshals Service was able to determine that Armstrong had been living at the Cottonwood address since March 2010, and that he had not notified the authorities in either Alabama or Florida.
When questioned, Armstrong admitted that he had not registered as a sex offender in Alabama and further admitted that he was in possession of child pornography. A laptop computer and several CDs that were seized from his trailer were later analyzed and found to contain over three dozen videos depicting children as young as infants and toddlers being sexually abused. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was able to identify the child victims in nine of the videos Armstrong possessed. Pursuant to the plea agreement and as part of his sentence, Armstrong agreed to pay $1,000 in restitution to one of the victims.
Even though his federal case is over, Armstrong still faces prosecution in Houston County for trafficking in marijuana – charges for which he has been incarcerated since his arrest in 2010. Any sentence Armstrong might ultimately receive in state court must be served in its entirety before his federal sentence begins, as Judge Fuller specifically ordered that the federal sentence run consecutively. In addition, and as part of his plea deal, Armstrong will spend the rest of his life on supervised release, with tight restrictions on his ability to interact with minors or use a computer. Judge Fuller also ordered Armstrong to seek treatment for substance abuse and sexual offending, both while he is in prison and after he is released.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 that aims to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Marshals Service for the Middle District of Alabama, and the Montgomery field office of the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Nathan D. Stump prosecuted the case.
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