Rockville Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography
Had At Least 12,765 Images and 600 Videos Of Child Pornography in His Collection
Greenbelt, Maryland – Romeo Joseph Hillman, age 29, of Rockville, Maryland, pleaded guilty late on January 4, 2016, to distribution of child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to Hillman’s plea agreement, on October 22, 2014, an undercover FBI Task Force Officer downloaded 82 image and video files depicting children from approximately ages three to 13 engaged in sexually explicit conduct from an IP address associated with Hillman’s residence. On February 11, 2015, a search warrant was executed at Hillman’s residence and law enforcement sized two laptop computers, four USB drives and a cellular telephone.
A subsequent forensic examination of the seized media revealed at least 12,765 images and 600 videos of child pornography, including the images previously downloaded by the FBI Task Force Officer. At least 125 files recovered from the seized media depict children previously identified as victims of child pornography by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The forensic analysis also confirmed that Hillman had a file sharing program loaded on his computer. Investigation showed that, in addition to the file sharing program, Hillman used Skype to exchange messages and files containing child pornography.
As part of his plea agreement, Hillman 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).
Hillman and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement Hillman will be sentenced to between 97 and 151 months in prison. U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for April 20, 2016 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 FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph R. Baldwin and Kristin N. O’Malley, who are prosecuting the case.