Anchorage Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Distribution of Child Pornography
Thousands of Images and Videos Seized Depicting Child Sexual Exploitation
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that Michael John Collier, 32, of Anchorage, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess to serve seven years in prison, followed by a lifetime period of supervised release. In February 2019, Collier pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child – distribution of child pornography.
According to court documents, Collier became the subject of an investigation when, in February 2018, APD received a cybertip report from a social media platform through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) alleging that an individual with an Alaska IP address was using the platform to exchange images depicting child sexual exploitation. The cybertip identified a suspect user name “Torpedo_todd” describing themselves as a “Lover of natural beauty and innocence (NSFW).” After it was determined that Collier was assigned to that IP address, APD executed a search warrant on his residence and recovered a number of digital devices that were later determined to contain thousands of images and videos depicting child sexual exploitation.
When interviewed by law enforcement at the time of the search, Collier admitted that “TorPedo” user names were aliases he had used, and that the naming convention was a conjunction of the terms Tor (dark web) and Pedo (short for “pedophile”). In a separate interview, Collier admitted that the majority of his child pornography collection depicted children between 11 and 13 years old, as well as toddlers. He also made admissions to using social media platforms to follow minor female children, and discussed viewing a manual on how to exploit children without being apprehended by law enforcement. Collier also described that he had been on a “slippery slope” before being contacted by APD and disclosed that he had started exposing himself to children in person and online.
The Anchorage Police Department (APD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case. The Alaska Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is made up of local, state, and federal agencies who develop effective responses to cyber enticement and child sexual exploitation cases. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Alexander.
The investigation is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood combines federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.