Administrator Of Online Group Chat Dedicated To Trafficking Child Pornography Is Sentenced To 22 Years In Prison
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray announced that Anthony Ryan Moore-Powell, 26, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 14 years in prison, on charges of coercion and enticement of a minor. U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger also ordered MoorePowell to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.
Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Charlotte, and Chief Herbert Blake of the Hendersonville Police Department, join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.
According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, on September 27, 2018, HSI became aware that Moore-Powell was using the Dark Web to locate a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. An undercover HSI agent posing as the father of an 8year-old boy began communicating with Moore-Powell. Over the course of their online exchanges, Moore-Powell agreed to pay $1,500 in exchange for engaging in sexual activity with the minor over the course of a weekend. Moore-Powell also discussed with the undercover agent the gifts he would bring for the minor, and other details pertaining to the commission of the sexual assault. Moore-Powell also sent child pornography videos to the undercover agent, requesting that they be shown to the boy.
On November 15, 2018, Moore-Powell flew from Chicago to Asheville, where he rented a vehicle and checked in at an area hotel. Moore-Powell then met with an undercover agent who was posing as the child’s father, and paid the agent $200 in cash as down payment in exchange for engaging in sex with the minor. After the meeting, Moore-Powell returned to his hotel room to await the arrival of the child. Law enforcement agents arrested Moore-Powell in the parking lot of the hotel.
Law enforcement searched Moore-Powell’s rental vehicle, where they located toys and electronics intended as gifts for the minor, and $1300 in cash. Moore-Powell was also in possession of computer storage devices that contained child pornography.
On February 25, 2019, Moore-Powell pleaded guilty to coercion and enticement of a minor. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
U.S. Attorney Murray thanked HSI and the Hendersonville Police Department for their investigation of this case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case.