Hampstead Man Pleads Guilty to Distribution and Possession of Child Porngraphy
Baltimore, Maryland – Michael Eugene Aldridge, age 42, of Hampstead, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to distribution and possession of child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; and Carroll County Sheriff James DeWees.
According to Aldridge’s plea agreement, he covertly took videos of minor females, including while they were undressed, to produce child pornography. Aldridge distributed those videos to others to encourage them to engage in the production of child pornography and exchanges the images and videos with Aldridge. On June 26, 2014, a search warrant was executed on his residence and Aldridge was interviewed by law enforcement. During the interview, Aldridge admitted that he viewed and distributed child pornography. A search of Aldridge’s email account recovered two images of child pornography. A forensic analysis of his cell phone recovered 15 images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
As part of his plea agreement, Aldridge must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Aldridge faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison, for distribution of child pornography; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography, followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis has scheduled sentencing for July 28, 2015, at 9:00 a.m.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the HSI Baltimore, Maryland State Police, and Carroll County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who prosecuted the case.