FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2013
Fort Smith, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that John Marc Ryan, age 51 of Mena, Arkansas, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison without the possibility of parole for downloading and possessing child pornography. Chief United States District Judge P. K. Holmes III, who presided over the sentencing in Fort Smith, also ordered Ryan to 15 years of supervision by the U.S. Probation Office after his release from prison.
United States Attorney Eldridge commented, “Each sentence for child pornography offenses translates into greater safety for our children. In this case, the sheer number of images is shocking, since each image represents the victimization of a child. These cases are horrendous, and we will continue to prosecute them.”
According to court documents, in May 2011, an individual contacted the Mena Police Department and reported that a computer that was purchased from Ryan contained images of suspected child pornography. The resulting investigation confirmed that the computer did in fact contain images of child pornography. Based on this information, the Mena Police Department conducted an interview with Ryan, who ultimately confessed to downloading and possessing child pornography. After the interview, a search warrant was executed at Ryan’s home in Mena. At his residence, law enforcement located an additional computer, an external hard drive, and numerous digital storage devices. These items were subsequently forensically examined by the Arkansas State Crime Lab and revealed additional images of children engaged in sexual conduct. On September 19, 2012, Ryan pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges. At sentencing, Chief United States District Judge Holmes was presented evidence by the government that, in total, Ryan had over 16,000 still images and 100 different videos of child pornography on the numerous devices seized by law enforcement.
This case was investigated by the Mena Police Department and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted the case for the United States.
The 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and their Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Sections (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.
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