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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, August 6, 2022

BAY CITY MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

BAY CITY – On August 4, 2022, Justin William Zube, 34, of Bay City, was sentenced to 15 years in prison following his conviction by a federal jury of possessing child pornography depicting minors under age 12, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.


U.S. Attorney Ison was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge James A. Tarasca, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.


Zube was convicted in April following a three-day trial before the Honorable Thomas L. Ludington in the United States District Court in Bay City. According to the evidence presented at trial, investigators from the Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation into Zube after receiving a tip from Snapchat and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The investigation culminated in the execution of a search warrant at Zube’s Bay City residence on February 11, 2020. Agents seized multiple digital devices from Zube’s home which were found to contain in excess of 300 images and videos of child pornography.


Zube had been previously convicted of possession of child sexually abusive material in Bay County Circuit Court in 2014.


“Victims depicted in child pornography are not only victimized by their abusers, but also by the individuals who collect and view the images and videos,” stated U.S. Attorney Ison. “My office appreciates the work of the FBI and Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Computer Crimes Unit for their dedication to investigating crimes against children and holding those who possess these images accountable.”


“The possession of child sexual abuse material – images and videos of actual children being horrifically victimized by child predators - is not a victimless crime,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “The children portrayed suffer real and permanent damage for the rest of their lives. With yesterday’s sentence, Zube now faces the consequences necessary to protect the community from this serial offender.”


The case was investigated by the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys William Vailliencourt and Ann Nee.

Updated August 6, 2022