Colorado Springs Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Possession of Child Pornography
Defendant possessed over 700,000 images
DENVER – Michael Lyle Blair, age 64, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was sentenced late last week by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello to serve 120 months (10 years) in federal prison for possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Steven W. Cagen announced. Following his prison sentence, Blair was ordered to serve 7 years on supervised release and pay restitution totaling $21,000. The defendant, who appeared at the sentencing on bond, was remanded into custody immediately after the hearing.
Blair was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on March 16, 2017. He pled guilty before Judge Arguello on November 3, 2017. He was sentenced on May 17, 2018.
The testimony given during the sentencing hearing, as well as court documents filed in this case, demonstrated the defendant collected more than 700,000 images of child pornography and was involved in a decades-long pattern of sexual abuse against minors. Blair came to law enforcement attention when his wife, Sona Blair, was the target of a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) money-laundering investigation. HSI had reason to believe she was deriving money from the international trafficking of Asian females and their prostitution. A state search warrant was executed at the Blair residence in December, 2013. During the search warrant execution, agents seized an external hard drive. A later forensic review of the drive showed it stored images of child pornography. Two additional state search warrants were obtained for evidence of child pornography. One was for the hard drive and the second was for the residence. The residence was searched again in January 2014 and a second computer was seized. A forensic review of the hard drive revealed that the defendant had downloaded approximately 700,000 images of child pornography including images of prepubescent children being bound or sexually abused. The images were stored in multiple folders with names containing descriptions such as “Hardcore Childporn”. The hard drive also contained hundreds of pages of stories that described the abduction or sexual abuse of children.
"Blair stole more than innocence with the 700,000 images he obtained. For years he left a trail of silent victims," said U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. "With this sentence, those victims are finally heard. And Blair will pay every day for the next ten years in federal prison."
“Considering the traumatic impacts on victims of child pornography, the resulting federal prison sentences following a conviction are justifiably significant,” said Steve Cagen, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “The 700,000 child pornography images that Blair collected involved numerous young and innocent traumatized victims. HSI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office worked together to provide justice to these victims, while protecting other potential victims by removing Blair from the community and from cyberspace.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alecia Riewerts, the office’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator. 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 the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, 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.justice.gov/psc.