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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Warren County Man Sentenced to 6 Years Imprisonment on Child Pornography Charges

RALEIGH — The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that yesterday, Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, sentenced MICHAEL WYATT COLLIUS, 23, of Norlina, NC to 72 months’ imprisonment, followed by a five-year term of supervised release.  COLLIUS was also ordered to pay more than $68,000 in restitution to known child pornography victims identified through the investigation.  COLLIUS pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement on November 13, 2019 to one count of receipt of child pornography. 

In September 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Raleigh, North Carolina, assisted the Spanish National Police Cyber Child Pornography Group II, Technology Investigation Unit, with an investigation into Dropbox users sharing child pornography.  Investigators were able to determine that one of the accounts responsible for sharing child pornography belonged to COLLIUS

Following additional investigation, a search warrant was obtained for COLLIUS’ residence.  On May 3, 2018, investigators with the FBI and Warren County Sheriff’s Office executed the warrant and seized COLLIUS’ phone.  A later forensic review recovered over 800 images and over 200 videos containing child pornography. COLLIUS agreed to speak with investigators at the time of the search and admitted to receiving, sharing and possessing child pornography.   

This case is part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level.  For more information about this important national initiative, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Raleigh, North Carolina, conducted the investigation of this case with assistance from the Spanish National Police Cyber Child Pornography Group II, Technology Investigation Unit and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Bryan M. Stephany represented the government. 

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated March 3, 2020