Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Receipt of Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 17, 2013|
COLUMBUS, OH—Stewart A. Miller, 48, of Sunbury, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to one count of receipt of child pornography. Miller was a Columbus police officer prior to his recent resignation.
Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced the plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.
According to testimony provided by the government during the plea hearing, the FBI began investigating Miller in October 2013 after receiving a tip. They obtained and executed search warrants at Miller’s residence at the time and a storage facility he rented, recovering various computers and digital media.
A forensic examination of two external drives located in the crawl space above Miller’s bathroom revealed the presence of several thousand images and more than 1,100 videos of child pornography. The images dated back to 2002. The children in the videos ranged in age from toddler to teenager. The file paths of some of the images indicated that they were originally downloaded via a peer-to-peer file sharing network. Images and videos of child pornography were also located on a laptop computer seized from the basement of the residence. Additional images of child pornography were recovered from several CDs seized from the storage facility rented by Miller.
The crime is punishable by at least five years and up to 20 years in prison. Judge Marbley will set a date for sentencing. The court placed Miller on home detention with electronic monitoring until sentencing and also prohibited him from having access to the Internet.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorney’s 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, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Hill, who is prosecuting the case.