Silver Spring Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Benjamin Mark Urban, age 28, of
Silver Spring, Maryland, today to 15 years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release for receiving and possessing child pornography. Judge Messitte ordered that upon his release from prison, Urban 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), and also ordered that Urban pay a $2,000 fine.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the plea agreement, on March 11, 2010, police in Spain provided the FBI with a U.S. internet protocol (IP) address that they were monitoring which was affiliated with at least six child pornography videos from approximately January 1 to March 3, 2010. The investigation showed that the computer identified with the IP address was in possession of files depicting child pornography on several occasions during this time period and was assigned to an account maintained in the name of M. Urban, Silver Spring, Maryland.
On September 21, 2010, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Urban’s residence and seized computers, hard drives, MP3 players, CDs, DVDs and discs used by Urban. One of the computers contained numerous photos and videos depicting child pornography. Urban admitted that he has viewed child pornography since he was 18 years old, that he primarily used a file sharing program to obtain child pornography and left the program running at all times. Urban stated that he possessed at least 275 gigabytes of child pornography.
Urban stated that his “best friend” was an 11-year old girl, whom he speaks to via a web camera and streaming video every day. The 11 year old girl is autistic. Urban asked her to send him nude pictures of herself, but she refused. Urban has also chatted with other young children online.
An analysis of Urban’s computer revealed that he possessed at least 150 video files and 6,000 images of child pornography. The materials included images of prepubescent children, some of which were engaged in sexually explicit conduct with adults.
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 the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Christen A. Sproule, who prosecuted the case.