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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2022

Jacksonville Man Sentenced To 12 Years For Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Videos Over The Internet

Jacksonville, Florida – Chief United States District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan has sentenced Michael Lee Aurandt (51, Jacksonville) to 12 years in federal prison for distributing child sexual abuse images and videos over the internet. Aurandt was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender, and pay $3,000 in restitution to a victim of his offense. Aurandt had pleaded guilty on December 21, 2021.

According to court documents, several FBI field offices began investigating Aurandt for uploading child sexual abuse materials to chat applications over the internet. In October 2020, Aurandt was observed posting videos and images depicting children being sexually abused in a chat app. The following month, Aurandt uploaded five videos containing child sex abuse materials in a chat app, which was reported to the FBI through a CyberTip submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  The FBI investigation identified Aurandt as the source of the distributions through linked internet protocol (IP) addresses.

On August 27, 2021, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Aurandt’s residence, and he was arrested later that day. Aurandt admitted to viewing and distributing child sex abuse materials using the chat app accounts previously identified by FBI. He stated he would create new accounts whenever his accounts were shut down for violating the terms of service of the chat app.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington. The forfeiture of assets was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Mai Tran.

This 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 April 22, 2022