United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Box Elder, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Distribution of Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography.
Michael J. Fech, age 30, a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, was indicted on June 17, 2014. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on June 19, 2014, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The penalty upon conviction is a mandatory minimum of 5 years’ imprisonment up to 20 years’ imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, lifetime of supervised release, and a $100 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment charges that between December 2013 and June 2014, at Box Elder, Fech knowingly distributed and possessed computers files containing images of child pornography.
The charges are merely accusations and Fech is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation was conducted by the Pennington County Sheriff’s Department, and the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins is prosecuting the case.
Fech was released pending trial, with conditions limiting his use of the internet and contact with children. A trial date has not been set.