News

Ellicott City Man Pleads Guilty to Producing And Possessing Child Pornography


Defendant Repeatedly Sexually Abused a Child Under the Age of Eight
to Produce Child Pornography;
Possessed Over 600 Images and Many Videos of Child Pornography,
Including Images Portraying Sadistic and Violent Conduct

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - Jeffrey Trantham, age 24, of Ellicott City, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to sexually exploiting a child to produce child pornography and possessing child pornography.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; Howard County Police Chief William McMahon; and Howard County State’s Attorney Dario J. Broccolino.

“The content of evidence in this case demonstrates the depravity of these predators. Trantham sexually abused and exploited a young child," said William Winter, Special Agent in Charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Baltimore. "Individuals who produce, distribute and possess child pornography victimize the most vulnerable members of our society and they will not go unpunished."

According to the plea agreement, after images of a prepubescent minor being sexually abused by a man appearing to be Trantham were received by an individual in Canada, Howard County Police officers executed a search warrant at Trantham’s residence on December 12, 2009.

Trantham admitted that between August and September 2009, he repeatedly sexually abused a child under the age of eight. He further admitted that he took sexually explicit photos of her and sent them to at least three other people over the Internet. He also sent images of the child via a live broadcast through a web camera.

Further investigation of Trantham’s computer revealed over 600 images and many additional videos of child pornography, including images depicting the repeated sexual abuse of the victim. Most of the images and videos found on the computer involved prepubescent girls and contained images portraying sadistic or masochistic conduct, or other depictions of violence.

As part of his plea agreement, Trantham must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

Trantham faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for producing child pornography, and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for possessing child pornography, followed by supervised release for up to life. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake, has scheduled sentencing for May 13, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.

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. Details about Maryland’s program are available at www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, the Howard County Police Department and Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who prosecuted the case.

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