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Press Release

Kern County Man Pleads Guilty to Receiving and Distributing Child Pornography

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Marcus Tatum, 31, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty today to receipt and distribution of child sexual abuse material, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between February 2012 and March 2018, Tatum used a laptop computer to knowingly receive and distribute over 600 files containing visual depictions of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The files contained images of children under the age of 12 engaging in sexually explicit conduct, as well as engaging in sado-masochistic conduct.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittany M. Gunter is prosecuting the case.

Tatum is scheduled to be sentenced on April 1, 2024. Tatum faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case was brought as 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated December 11, 2023

Project Safe Childhood