DEARBORN HEIGHTS MAN SENTENCED ON CHARGES OF
PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Co-defendant Pleads Guilty to Same Charges
A 51-year-old Dearborn Heights, Michigan man, who filmed a seven-year-old as the subject of child pornography production, was sentenced today in federal court to 35 years in federal prison, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. Joining in the announcement was Brian Moskowitz, Special Agent In Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Detroit.
John Belloli pleaded guilty last November to Production and Possession of Child Pornography and was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III in Detroit, Michigan.
Co-defendant Robert John Mueller pleaded guilty to two counts of Production of Child Pornography on May 11, 2011 and is scheduled to be sentenced August 12, 2011.
United States Attorney McQuade stated, “"We are very grateful that the investigators and prosecutors were able to rescue these children from this horrific abuse. Although we have seen an alarming increase in the use of technology by child predators to commit their crimes, investigators are also using technology to catch them."
"Today's sentencing sends an unequivocal message to those who sexually exploit children," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Detroit. "While rescuing children from these dangerous situations is our immediate concern, it should also be noted that there will be no refuge from justice for the individuals who engage in this vile behavior. We will remain vigilant on behalf of those who cannot protect themselves."
The information presented to the Court at the time of the pleas established that in June, 2009, the defendants sedated a minor child with prescription sleep medication and photographed one another engaging in sexually explicit conduct with the minor. Both defendants then downloaded the photographs to their computers. Search warrants executed at the homes of both defendants each revealed in excess of 600 images of child pornography, some of which depicted prepubescent children engaged in acts of sadomasochism and violence. The majority of the images Mueller and Belloli possessed were downloaded and collected from the Internet.
The defendants have been in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service since their arrests in July, 2010.
U.S. Attorney McQuade noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative. She praised the work of the agents of the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as the efforts of the Sterling Heights Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Eaton Brown, Matthew Roth and Kevin Mulcahy.