Donald John Mullen Arraigned and Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on December 22, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn S. Ostby, DONALD JOHN MULLEN, a 21-year-old resident of Miles City, was arraigned and pled guilty to receipt of child pornography. Sentencing is set for March 18, 2010. He is currently released on special conditions.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
Agents were investigating allegations of child pornography access by users utilizing the peer-to-peer file sharing network. One investigation involved a person in Corvallis, Montana who had available to share child pornography via a file sharing program beginning in May 2008. An agent with the Wyoming Internet Crimes Against Children task force downloaded numerous images of child pornography from that computer. After a search warrant was served on the residence and the computer seized, agents determined that the resident's grandson, defendant DONALD JOHN MULLEN had used the computer and was now living in Miles City. Agents determined MULLEN'S computer IP address in Miles City and using the peer to peer file sharing program Limewire, agents established a direct connection with his IP address on several occasions and attempted to download several apparent child pornography files. Agents obtained a federal search warrant on MULLEN'S residence in Miles City, which was served on May 8, 2009.
Agents seized various computer equipment at MULLEN'S residence. Subsequent forensic examination revealed hundreds of images and movies of child pornography that MULLEN had received via the Internet during 2008 and continued to possess until the equipment was seized. MULLEN had images and movies of children clearly prepubescent and children engaged in sadistic or masochistic abuse or other depictions of violence.
MULLEN faces possible penalties of a minimum of 5 years up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 5 years to lifetime supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.