WASHINGTON - A federal grand jury sitting in Charlottesville, Va., returned a 13-count second superseding indictment charging Michael Wayne Anderson, 34, of Warren County, Va., with multiple offenses arising from his involvement in a multi-state crime ring in which members produced, distributed and received child pornography over the Internet, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia John L. Brownlee announced today.
According to the indictment, Anderson conspired with unnamed members of the crime ring between 2005 and 2007 to use instant messaging, video messaging, text messaging and video chat software to communicate and share sexual interests in children. As part of the conspiracy, the indictment charges, Anderson and the others produced child pornography showing themselves engaged in illegal sexual activity with minors. Anderson and his co-conspirators would then allegedly transmit images of these crimes to one another in real-time using webcam broadcasts.
In addition to being charged with one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and one count of conspiracy to transport and receive child pornography, Anderson is also charged with two counts of production of child pornography, one count of transportation of child pornography, two counts of receipt of child pornography, two counts of aiding and abetting the transportation of child pornography, two counts of aiding and abetting the receipt of child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. The indictment also contains a count seeking the forfeiture of property used in these crimes.
If convicted on all counts, Anderson faces a life prison sentence and a fine of up to $3 million.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Healey for the Western District of Virginia and Trial Attorney James Silver of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. The investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.