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Press Release

Billerica Man Sentenced for Child Pornography Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Majority of images and videos depict children between the ages of five and 10-years-old

BOSTON – A Billerica man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for possessing and distributing child pornography.

Brian Ashley, 38, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to six years in prison and six years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $15,000 to two of the victims identified in his child pornography collection.  Ashley will also be required to register as a sex offender upon release from prison.  In March 2017, Ashley pleaded guilty to one count of distribution and one count of possession of child pornography.

In February 2016, federal agents in Montana assumed the identity of an individual who was using an instant messaging app to send and receive child pornography to other users. As part of the investigation, agents identified Brian Ashley as one of the individuals using the app to trade child pornography.  Ashley, using a screenname that hid his identity, distributed several images and videos of child pornography to the undercover agents, who subsequently traced his illicit online activity to his home and work addresses in Massachusetts. Agents executed a search warrant at Ashley’s Billerica home, where they seized his cell phone. A forensic review of the cell phone revealed hundreds of images and videos of child pornography and evidence that he had exchanged the material with other users of the instant messaging app. 

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb and Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jordi de Llano and Anne Paruti of Weinreb’s Criminal Division prosecuted the case.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood.  In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated June 20, 2017

Project Safe Childhood