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Press Release

Rising Sun Man Sentenced To Over 17 Years In Prison For Sexually Exploiting A Minor To Produce Child Pornography

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

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Michael Dale Irwin, age 27, of Rising Sun, Maryland, today to 210 months in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for the sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography. Judge Bennett also ordered that upon his release from prison, Irwin 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 William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police (MSP); and Cecil County State’s Attorney Ellis Rollins.

According to Irwin’s plea agreement, on March 12, 2013, a witness reported to Maryland State Police that Irwin had sent an image to her cellular phone documenting his sexual abuse of a prepubescent minor female. The witness contacted MSP when she recognized Irwin in the image. Although the messages were set to “auto delete” and were no longer on the witness’ phone, with the consent of the witness MSP began monitoring calls and text messages between Irwin and the witness and directed all communication by the witness with Irwin. After Irwin sent the witness a video depicting a six to eight year old female engaged in sexually explicit conduct, troopers arrested Irwin at his place of employment and seized his phone, which had been used to text and call the witness. MSP recovered the images and video documenting Irwin’s sexual abuse of a prepubescent minor female and obtained the sexually explicit text messages that he had previously sent to the witness describing in graphic detail the sexual acts he performed on the child. HSI special agents in Baltimore conducted the forensic examination on Irwin’s phone and HSI’s victim witness specialist provided substantial assistance to the victims and their families.

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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit 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 the Cecil County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Wilkinson, who prosecuted the case.

Updated January 26, 2015