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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 23, 2016

Harford County Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography

Possessed Over 23,000 images and 1,900 videos of Child Pornography

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Michael Francis Chaney, age 72, of Whiteford, Maryland, today to five years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for possession and distribution of child pornography. Judge Motz also ordered that upon his release from prison Chaney 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 R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

According to his plea agreement, over the course of several years Chaney used several email addresses to both send and receive images of child pornography. On February 6, 2015, a search warrant was executed at Chaney’s residence and his laptop, external hard drive, and other digital media were seized.  Forensic analysis of the items revealed that all had images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including prepubescent minors, and minors engaged in sadistic and/or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence. There were approximately 1,941 videos and 23,381 image of child pornography which had been downloaded from internet websites.  Chaney admitted that he sought child pornography on the internet and actively traded the images and videos with others, distributing them via the internet.

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 and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who prosecuted the federal case.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated September 23, 2016