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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spokane, Washington Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Receipt of Child Pornography Images

SPOKANE, Wash. – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Ryan Raymond Joseph Comerford, age 26, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced today after having previously pleaded guilty on May 5, 2014 to Receipt of Child Pornography. United States District Court Judge Thomas Rice sentenced Comerford to a five year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 20 year term of court supervision after he is released from Federal prison. In addition, Comerford was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, forfeit his computers and digital storage media and will be required to register as a sex offender.

According to court records, between November 30, 2012 and February 19, 2013, Comerford used Peer to Peer file sharing software to distribute images of child pornography on the Internet. As a result of an online undercover investigation conducted by the United States Secret Service, on March 27, 2013 a federal search warrant was executed at a Spokane south hill residence where Comerford was living. Comerford’s computers and digital media were seized. On these devices a computer forensic examiner discovered in excess of 10,000 sexually explicit images and videos of minors, some under the age of 3 years.

Michael C. Ormsby said, “Prosecuting offenders who are collecting and distributing child pornography using Peer to Peer file sharing software is a priority of the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Washington. This Office, together with its Federal and state law enforcement partners, is and will continue to be committed to prosecuting aggressively and seeking appropriate punishment for child pornography crimes.”

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:

  • Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;
  • Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;
  • Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;
  • Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and
  • Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
This investigation was conducted by the United States Secret Service. The case was prosecuted by Stephanie J. Lister, an Assistant United States Attorney and PSC Coordinator for the Eastern District of Washington.

CR-13-00145-TOR

Updated February 5, 2015