Valmeyer Man Sentenced To 151 Months In Prison For Child Pornography
A Valmeyer man was sentenced in federal district court on July 15, 2013, for Distribution of Child Pornography (Count 1) and Possession of Child Pornography (Count 2), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Alan L. Mitchell, 52, of Valmeyer, Illinois, was sentenced to 151 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by a five year term of supervised release. Mitchell was ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution to one of the victims depicted in his collection of child pornography, and the forfeiture of the computers used to commit the charged offenses was ordered.
Mitchell pled guilty to the charges on March 28, 2013.
As is indicated in a graphic factual stipulation filed at the time of defendant’s guilty plea, on September 6, 2012, an undercover agent assigned to the United States Secret Service Southern Illinois Cybercrime Unit searched a peer-to-peer file sharing network and was able to download child pornography movies from Mitchell’s computer. Officers next obtained a federal search warrant for Mitchell’s Valmeyer home and executed it on October 23, 2012. Mitchell, who resided in the basement of the home, made a voluntary statement to investigating agents. He indicated that he had been knowingly and intentionally downloading child pornography for the last year or two from a peer to peer network, and that he realized he was also sharing child pornography with other users.
Forensic review of a Seagate 320 GB hard disk drive revealed approximately 162 video files and 18 still images which contained child pornography. Forensic review of a Western Digital 160 Gigabyte laptop revealed approximately 205 video files and 50 still images which contained child pornography. Forensic review of a Fujitsu laptop revealed approximately four images of child pornography. A Toshiba 60 GB hard drive revealed two video files and three still images of child pornography. Mitchell’s collection included files which depicted penetration of minors who appeared to be under the age of five. There were also images that depicted bondage.
“The movies possessed by Mitchell are, in essence, crime scene photos depicting the rape and sexual assault of child victims,” said United States Attorney Wigginton. “I commend the dedicated efforts of the law enforcement officers who must regularly subject themselves to this depraved material as they search computers with immense storage capacity for evidence.”
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 Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service Southern Illinois Cybercrime Unit. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne M. Garrison.