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Press Release

South Georgia man convicted of distribution, possession of child pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Defendant faces possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison

WAYCROSS, GA:  A Coffee County man was found guilty on all counts after a two-day trial in federal court for possessing and distributing child pornography.

Ashley Marshall Carter, 41, of Douglas, Ga., was found guilty by a U.S. District Court jury on one count of Distribution of Child Pornography, and one count of Possession of Child Pornography, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The distribution charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, up to 20, along with five years to life of supervised release and substantial financial penalties and restitution and registration upon release as a sex offender. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Our office and our partner law enforcement agencies make it a priority to identify and bring to justice those who would victimize children,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. “This guilty verdict by a jury of his peers ensures Ashley Carter will be held accountable for his crimes.”

As described in court, a task force officer working with Homeland Security Investigations identified electronic transfers of images of child exploitation originating from Carter’s Douglas address. During a subsequent search in February 2021, Carter was arrested after investigators removed multiple electronic devices from the home and identified thousands of images of child pornography.

Sentencing will be scheduled before U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood after completion of a presentence investigation by U.S. Probation Services.

“Finding, arresting and prosecuting those who are involved in the creation, collecting and or distribution of these disturbing images of child exploitation is one of our highest priorities, because of the devastating effects it has on our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure these predators face justice and that our children are protected.”

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Candler County Sheriff’s Office, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer J. Kirkland and Jeremiah L. Johnson.

This investigation took place under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood. Anyone with information on suspected child sexual exploitation can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678, or


Bary L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated April 19, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 78-22