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Press Release

Birmingham Attorney Sentenced to More than Eight Years in Prison for Possession of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

Birmingham, Ala. – A federal judge sentenced a Birmingham attorney today for possession of child pornography announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Carlton L. Peeples.

U.S. District Court Judge Annemarie Axon sentenced Chase Tristian Espy, 36, of Vestavia, to 97 months in prison followed by 20 years supervised release. Espy pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in October 2022. Espy was also ordered to pay additional special assessments of $15,000.00 pursuant to the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act and $5,000.00 pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.  Assessments collected under these statutes are used to fund and enhance victim services. Espy was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

"No one is above the law, and today's sentence sends a message to anyone who preys on innocent children.  We will use every tool available to us to investigate and prosecute those who target children for abuse," U.S. Attorney Escalona said.  "I commend the hard work and commitment of our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to bring this defendant to justice." 

In October 2022, Espy pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography arising out of events that occurred from March 2021 to August 2021.  Court documents reveal that the investigation was initiated when Espy engaged in online chats with an undercover law enforcement officer whom Espy believed was a 15-year-old girl.  Upon being arrested, Espy’s cell phone was seized, and a search warrant was obtained.  From this search, approximately 69 videos and four images of child sexual abuse material were found.

The FBI Birmingham’s Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force (CEHTTF), the Homewood Police Department, and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) participated in this investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Leann White and Jonathan Cross are prosecuted the case.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated March 8, 2023

Project Safe Childhood