Skip to main content
Press Release

Luzerne County Man Pleads Guilty To Receiving And Distributing Child Pornography

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

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 38-year-old Luzerne County resident pleaded guilty today to receiving and distributing child pornography before U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, the defendant, Michael Shaw, of Luzerne, Pennsylvania, admitted to using a computer to download and trade images of child pornography during 2012 through June 5, 2013.

     The charge against Shaw resulted from an investigation by special agents and task force officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police, detectives from the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, and local police.

     Shaw faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000. Judge Mannion ordered that Shaw remain in custody pending his sentencing.

     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 internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

     The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

Updated April 17, 2015