News and Press Releases

Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty To Possessing Child Porn, Sentenced To 2 Years in Prison

September 29 , 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Allegheny County, Pa., pleaded guilty and has been sentenced in federal court to 24 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release on his conviction of possession of child pornography, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Maurice B. Cohill imposed the sentence on Tuesday on Michael Applegarth, 50, of Pittsburgh, Pa.

According to information presented to the court during the guilty plea proceeding held Sept. 27, 2011, Applegarth unlawfully possessed, on July17, 2009, in computer graphics files, thousands of videos and still photographs depicting the sexual exploitation of female minors, some of whom had not attained the age of 12 years.  United States Postal Inspectors approached Applegarth after receiving information that Applegarth had been obtaining sexual images of children from a website that offered child pornography. Applegarth consented to the inspectors' search of his computers and related equipment.

Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the United States Postal Inspection Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Applegarth.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney's Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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