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Press Release

Highland Man Sentenced To 17 ½ Years In PrisonFor Receipt Child Of Pornography

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

A Highland man was sentenced today to 17 ½ years in federal prison after having pleaded guilty to receipt and possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Marlon Miller, Department of Homeland Security, Detroit Division.

Michael Mazel, 38, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh in Detroit.

Evidence established that Mazel used a peer-to-peer file sharing program to download images and videos of children being forced to engage in sexually explicit activities with adults. He also exchanged emails with several individuals who appeared to be pre-teenage girls, asking them to engage in graphic sexual activities with him, and sending them child pornography.

Agents from the Department of Homeland Security identified more than 400 images and videos, some portraying sadistic or masochistic conduct.

Just before his sentencing date, Mazel fled the state and tried to cross the border into Mexico. The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Apprehension Team captured him in Casa Grande, Arizona. Upon arrest, law enforcement discovered that Mazel had survival gear, camping equipment, two loaded firearms, and laptop computer and hard drives that contained child pornography. He is separately indicted on those charges.

In announcing the sentence, McQuade stated, “We appreciate the work of the U.S. Marshals Service to locate and capture this defendant, a child predator who solicited sexual acts from pre-teen girls.”

"Today's sentencing clearly reflects HSI's aggressive efforts to combat child exploitation in all forms," said Miller. "Mazel's capture and ultimate sentencing should send a strong message to child predators that HSI and our law enforcement partners will hunt them down and hold them accountable before the law."

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Maggie Smith, of the General Crimes Unit. "

Updated March 19, 2015