James Matthew Tafelmeyer Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on December 4, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, JAMES MATTHEW TAFELMEYER, a 32-year-old resident of Billings, pled guilty to receipt of child pornography. Sentencing has been set for March 6, 2013. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
Law enforcement officers were investigating allegations of child pornography access by users utilizing the peer-to-peer file sharing network. One investigation involved a person in Billings who had child pornography available to share via a file sharing program. A search warrant was obtained for the residence and served on December 1, 2011.
TAFELMEYER was the occupant of the residence. When questioned, TAFELMEYER admitted that he used the peer-to-peer file sharing program Limewire to receive and possess hundreds of child pornography videos and images. He detailed the search terms he used to find child pornography on Limewire and how he had saved it to various computers and other equipment, and how he had been doing so since 2004.
Agents seized various computer equipment at TAFELMEYER's residence. Subsequent forensic examination revealed hundreds of images and movies of child pornography that TAFELMEYER had received via the Internet for years and continuing until the equipment was seized. TAFELMEYER possessed images and movies of children clearly prepubescent and children engaged in sadistic or masochistic abuse or other depictions of violence. TAFELMEYER possessed a total of over 2,000 images and 24 videos of child pornography on the equipment specified in the forfeiture count.
TAFELMEYER faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 20 years, a $250,000 fine, and lifetime supervision.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Billings Police Department, and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.