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Press Release

Anchorage man sentenced to over 17 years for child pornography charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – An Anchorage man was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison and will serve the rest of his life on supervised release for possessing and distributing child sexual abuse materials.

According to court documents, Australian law enforcement discovered Michael Whitmore, 31, was distributing child sexual abuse images on an encrypted social media application. Australian law enforcement referred the case to the FBI and Anchorage Police Department.

U.S. law enforcement determined that Whitmore had also been the unidentified subject of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) Cybertips related to distribution of images depicting violent child sexual exploitation.

In March 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant on Whitmore’s residence and discovered over 4,100 images and 2,200 videos on his devices, with some visuals depicting prepubescent minors. The investigation determined that Whitmore was an active member of at least 82 messaging groups used to exchange child sexual abuse materials on various applications.

Whitmore was arrested in March 2021 and pleaded guilty in August 2022.

In imposing the sentence, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason noted the sadistic nature of the images and videos, sophisticated computer use and active participation of the defendant, and noted that she hopes this case deters other individuals who have no criminal history from partaking in possessing or distributing child sexual abuse materials.

“Mr. Whitmore contributed to the plague of revictimization that possessing and distributing child sexual abuse materials causes to innocent victims across the country and the world,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. “My office remains steadfast in our commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to protect our most vulnerable community members and ensure that perpetrators who choose to victimize children are brought to justice.”

“Mr. Whitmore callously collected and shared child exploitation material depicting the horrific abuse of very young children,” said Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Day of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “The FBI and our local and international law enforcement partners will continue to identify and hold accountable those who contribute to these online crimes against children.”

“Committing a crime against a child is a horrifying act.  The case against Michael Whitmore is one of the more gruesome we’ve seen due to the ages of the victims involved and the sheer volume of material in Whitmore’s possession that he not only consumed but shared with other like-minded offenders,” stated APD Chief Michael Kerle.  “Every time Whitmore passed along images, he revictimized the very people whom adults are supposed to protect.  We are grateful for the partnership we have with the FBI. With our combined investigative efforts, the perpetrator will be held accountable for his criminal behavior.”

The FBI Anchorage Field Office and Anchorage Police Department, with assistance from Australian Law Enforcement, investigated the case as part of the FBI’s Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Alexander prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit



Reagan Zimmerman

Public Affairs Officer

Updated April 26, 2024

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 24-34