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Press Release

Hampstead Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography

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

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced Michael Eugene Aldridge, age 42, of Hampstead, Maryland, today to 10 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for distribution and possession of child pornography. Judge Garbis also ordered that, upon his release from prison, 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).

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Andre Watson 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 the videos to others to encourage those individuals to produce child pornography and exchange the images and videos with Aldridge. In an online conversation Aldridge had with an individual in California, the other individual discusses his abuse of a seven year old female and his plans to videotape the abuse during an upcoming visit.  Aldridge encouraged the individual to send him video of the abuse and suggested sexually explicit conduct for the other individual to engage in with the child.  Aldridge also suggested giving the child drugs to induce a deeper sleep.

On June 26, 2014, a search warrant was executed at 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.

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 HSI Baltimore, the 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.

Updated October 20, 2015

Topic
Project Safe Childhood