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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Convicted Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Child Pornography

Ocala, Florida – Michael Philip Auld (30, Ocala) today pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with distribution of child pornography. Because Auld already has a 2008 federal conviction for possession of child pornography, he faces a minimum sentence of 15 years, up to 40 years, in prison.

According to the plea agreement, on October 23, 2016, Auld distributed images of child pornography over the internet using a cellular telephone. Acting on a tip from an internet service provider, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Auld’s Marion County residence on January 11, 2018. In Auld’s bedroom, investigators recovered two cellular telephones and a tablet computer. Auld had been using these electronic devices to receive, possess, and distribute hundreds of images of child pornography since at least 2016. In saved internet conversations on these same devices, Auld graphically described his sexual abuse of minor children, including an infant. At the time of the offense, he was serving a lifetime of supervised release for his prior child pornography conviction.    

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.

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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
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Updated April 3, 2018