Former Airman Sentenced for Child Pornography Crimes
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that Ryan Lannen, 34, resident of Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason to 78 months in prison, to be followed by a 15-year term of supervised release, for two counts of distribution of child pornography.
According to court documents and arguments made during the sentencing hearing, in March 2015, Twitter, Inc. reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that an individual located in Anchorage, Alaska, had sent child pornography through the Internet on four occasions between January and March 2015. Anchorage Police Department (APD) identified the owner of the Twitter account as Lannen, an Airman at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER), residing off post. APD obtained a state search warrant for Lannen and his residence. Located on Lannen’s phone were 29 images of child pornography.
Also located on the phone were multiple chats Lannen engaged in through the Kik Messenger application. Many of these chats involved the discussion of sexual acts with minors, or child pornography. During several of these chats, Lannen traded images of child pornography, including images of prepubescent minors as young as eight years old.
On at least five other Kik instances, Lannen chatted with individuals who identified themselves as minors. In four of these chats, Lannen said he was a 16-year-old girl, and attempted to obtain images from these other users.
Judge Gleason based her sentence in numerous factors, including the nature and circumstances of the defendant’s conduct, especially the impact the defendant’s crimes had on the minors depicted in the images that he traded. Judge Gleason noted particularly the harm caused to victims by not only their initial abuse, but also the recurring harm caused because of the fact that “photos [of their abuse] are getting passed around all over the Internet and discussed[.]” With her sentence of more than six years in prison , Judge Gleason also sought to “deter others from this criminal conduct.”
This case was investigated and prosecuted by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, and the Alaska Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The Alaska ICAC is a federally and state funded task force managed by the APD, comprised of agents from federal, military, state, and local agencies. The purpose of the Alaska ICAC is to investigate online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement, and sex trafficking.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov, or contact the District of Alaska’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator at (907) 271-5071.