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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 17, 2021

Asheville Man Is Sentenced To 28 Years On Child Pornography Charges

The Defendant Used Snapchat to Induce Teenage Girls to Produce Child Pornography and Engage in Sex Acts in Exchange for Money

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Coyoami Ruiz Miguel, 26, of Asheville, was sentenced late yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger to 28 years in prison on child pornography charges, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Chief David Zack of the Asheville Police Department (APD) joins U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to court documents and court proceedings, from July 2019 to April 2020, Miguel used Snapchat and other messaging apps popular with teenagers to contact at least 15 minor females in the Asheville area for the purpose of inducing the minors to produce sexually explicit images and engage in sex acts with him in exchange for money. In April 2020, APD officers arrested Miguel and seized numerous electronic devices. A forensic analysis of the devices revealed that Miguel possessed dozens of videos and images of teenage girls engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Some of the videos also depicted Miguel engaging in sex acts with the minors. As Miguel previously admitted in court, the defendant used the mobile payment service Cash App to pay the underage victims for the child pornography and sex acts.  

On January 13, 2021, Miguel pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and using a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct. In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended the Asheville Police Department for their investigation of the case and thanked Homeland Security Investigations, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office for their invaluable assistance.

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In a separate case, Judge Reidinger sentenced Kenneth Ricky Ingle, Jr., 35, of Shelby, North Carolina, to 20 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release on child pornography charges. According to documents filed in this case, in August 2020, Ingle used the Kik messenger app to engage in sexually explicit communications with a 14-year-old female residing in Florida. Over the course of their exchanges, Ingle induced the minor to send him videos and images of herself depicting sexually explicit conduct.

U.S. Attorney King credited the FBI in North Carolina, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert R. Wells, with the investigation leading to Ingle’s prosecution.

The defendants are in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

Miguel will also be subject to deportation proceedings upon the completion of his federal sentence. If Miguel is not deported, or later returns to the United States, he was ordered by Judge Reidinger to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.

Both cases were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. 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, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated December 17, 2021