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GREENBRIER MAN ARRESTED ON FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

February 15, 2011

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced that Michael Feathers, age 35, was arrested today for Possession of Child Pornography. Feathers was indicted on February 2, 2011. The case was unsealed today after his arrest.

This investigation began when Arkansas State Police (ASP) received a CyberTip report indicating an Arkansas individual was using NetZero to download child pornography images. Results from a search warrant executed on NetZero revealed that the account subscriber lived at a specific location in Greenbrier, Arkansas. The ASP Agent consulted with local law enforcement and determined that an elderly woman lived at the Greenbrier residence with her grandson, Mr. Feathers. Faulkner County Sheriff’s Deputies then obtained and executed a search warrant on the Greenbrier residence. A computer and numerous compact discs were seized. A forensic analysis conducted by analysts with the Department of Homeland Security revealed that the computer and discs contained over 600 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and that Feathers had accessed NetZero to view and save the child pornography images. Many of the images depict minors under the age of twelve and portray sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.

If convicted, Feathers faces a possible sentence of not more than 10 years of incarceration and/or $250,000 fine with not less than 5 years up to a lifetime of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, the Arkansas State Police and the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marsha Clevenger.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.

An indictment contains only allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Christopher R. Thyer

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas is pleased to bring you

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