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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 19, 2021

Previously Convicted Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography

Curtis Possessed More Than 300 Images and Videos of Child Pornography

Baltimore, Maryland – Tyler Curtis, age 24, of Hampstead, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to the possession of more than 300 illegal images and videos of child pornography on his cell phone. Curtis was previously convicted of the promotion and distribution of child pornography in 2017 within the Circuit Court of Carroll County, Maryland and was subsequently required to register as a sex offender. 

The plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Carroll County Sheriff James DeWees; and Frederick County Sheriff Charles A. “Chuck” Jenkins.

According to his guilty plea, from February 2019 to May 2020, Curtis downloaded images and videos of child pornography on a cloud-based file storage and hosting service.  On March 5, 2020, the cloud-based service submitted a CyberTip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  Specifically, the service reported that a user account had uploaded 22 files of suspected child pornography.  Images included the sexual abuse of prepubescent children.

As stated in the plea agreement, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Curtis’s residence on May 28, 2020.  During an interview with law enforcement, Curtis falsely informed investigators that he had not viewed child pornography since his 2017 conviction for child pornography-related offenses. He also falsely stated that he did not have a cell phone in his possession.  As a result of the search warrant, law enforcement seized a hidden cell phone that was hidden in the bottom of Curtis’s bedroom dresser. 

A forensic review of Curtis’s hidden cell phone revealed artifacts associated with at least 13 different email addresses.  Investigators also discovered 115 images and 137 videos of child pornography on Curtis’s cell phone.  The sexually abusive material contained sado-masochistic content as well as images of prepubescent females engaged in sexual acts with adult men, including at least two videos that depicted the sexual abuse of an infant or toddler.  A forensic review of Curtis’s file storage and hosting service account revealed that Curtis uploaded 185 images and 10 videos of child pornography to the service.

Curtis and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Curtis will be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for September 30, 2021 at 2 p.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 Attorney’s 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.         

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the HSI, Maryland State Police, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul A. Riley who is prosecuting the federal case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Alexis Abbott (310) 653-0285
Updated July 19, 2021