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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Convicted Sex Offender Sentenced To More Than 27 Years In Prison For Distributing Child Pornography

Ocala, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton today sentenced Michael Philip Auld (31, Ocala) to 27 years and 3 months in federal prison for distributing child pornography. Following the prison sentence, Auld, a registered sex offender, must serve a lifetime on federal supervised release. The court also ordered him to forfeit a cellphone he had used in the commission of the crime. Auld pleaded guilty on April 3, 2018. 

According to court documents, on October 23, 2016, Auld distributed images of child pornography over the internet using his cellphone. At the time of the offense, he was serving a life term of supervised release on another federal child pornography conviction. Acting on a tip from an internet service provider, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Auld’s home on January 11, 2018. Investigators seized electronic devices from Auld’s bedroom, including the cellphone. Auld had been using the phone to receive, possess, and distribute hundreds of images of child pornography since at least 2016. In saved internet conversations on the phone, Auld also graphically described his fantasies of sexually assaulting a young girl and an infant. 

“This serial predator has proven he will prey on children at every opportunity,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “While already on probation for child pornography, he continued his pattern of abuse, which has ended thanks to HSI special agents, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the prosecution team.”

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

It is another case 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated July 18, 2018