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Thornton man sentenced to 90 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2013

DENVER – Daniel Ivan Ashby, age 40, of Thornton, Colorado, was sentenced late last week by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel to serve 90 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography, United States Attorney John Walsh and FBI Special Agent in Charge James Yacone announced.  Following the 90 month (over 7 year) sentence, Ashby was ordered to serve 5 years on supervised release.  Ashby appeared at the sentencing hearing on bond, and was remanded at its conclusion.

In 2011, Ashby was affiliated with Calvary Community Baptist Church and Community Christian School in Northglenn as a school administrator.

Ashby was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on July 9, 2012.  He pled guilty to the possession of child pornography charge on October 4, 2012.  He was sentenced on January 25, 2013.

According to the stipulated facts contained in a plea agreement, an investigation initiated by the FBI determined that a particular computer was sharing depictions that could be child pornography files from a computer that was used both in Peru and in Colorado.  Further investigation determined that at least 125 such files of interest had been shared from the target computer between January 5 and October 30, 2011.  FBI agents then determined through investigative means that the computer had accessed the internet from an Internet Protocol (IP) address assigned to a residence in Thornton, Colorado, where Daniel Ivan Ashby resided.  FBI agents also found that the potential child pornography images had also been shared from another Colorado IP address, this one assigned to Calvary Community Baptist Church in Northglenn.  Calvary Community Baptist Church operates a school named Community Christian School.  The school’s website identified Ashby as the school administrator. 

During undercover computer sessions, FBI agents were able to determine that the computer in Thornton was sharing multiple files of interest.  After downloading the files of interest the FBI determined the images were in fact child pornography.  On December 2, 2011, the FBI obtained a search warrant for the Thornton residential address.  During the execution of that warrant, law enforcement officers seized several electronic items, including two laptops.  Interviews with the occupants of the residence revealed that Daniel Ivan Ashby did download child pornography. 

Following the execution of the search warrant in Thornton, law enforcement officers and Ashby drove separately to Calvary Community Baptist Church/Community Christian School in Northglenn.  Agents obtained consent to search the computers at this location.  Church and school computers did not contain child pornography.

“The defendant in this case ran a Christian school while possessing child pornography,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.  “His 90 month sentence demonstrates that those who possess child pornography, especially those in a position of trust, face lengthy prison sentences.”

“Individuals who are investigated, prosecuted and appropriately sentenced for their heinous acts against defenseless children can never be disregarded as merely someone who is looking at pictures,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone.  “This case demonstrates what investigative agencies and our United States Attorney’s Office can accomplish by working together.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Innocent Images Task Force.

Ashby was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Bergsieker.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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, PSC 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 PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/   For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources."

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