Fugitive from Florida Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Identity Theft, Possession of Child Pornography, and Illegal Possession of Weapons and Destructive Devices
ANCHORAGE, AK—U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that Joseph Keenan May, 60, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for crimes involving identity theft, possession of illegal weapons, and possession of child pornography in a sentencing hearing held in federal court yesterday. United States District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason also ordered that May be supervised for 15 years after his release.
May, of Eagle River and Houston, Alaska, was indicted in June 2014 for identity theft crimes stemming from his assumption of the name of Michael Camp. In July, he was charged with three new federal offenses, alleging that he unlawfully possessed firearms while a fugitive from justice, unlawfully possessed unregistered explosive devices, and that he lied in an application for a federal firearms license. In November, an additional charge of possession of child pornography was brought. The defendant pled guilty to all eight felony charges.
May was arrested by an FBI tactical team at a home in Eagle River in the early morning hours of Friday, June 20, 2014. He had been wanted for capital sexual battery in Bradenton, Florida, since 1991. May was also the subject of a federal warrant charging unlawful flight to avoid prosecution since 1993.
According to the indictment, May has been living under the identity of a stepbrother, Michael Camp, who died in his teens in the 1970s in Pennsylvania. May is a former deputy sheriff in Manatee County, Florida. The original indictment charged two counts of unlawful use of a social security number, stemming from May’s use of Camp’s name and number to apply for an Alaska driver’s license in 2009 and unemployment benefits in 2013. He was also charged with two counts of aggravated identity theft.
Additional charges were filed in July 2014 and November 2014 based on evidence uncovered during May’s arrest and through search warrants derived from that evidence. The July 2014 additional charges stemmed from May’s possession of eight firearms despite his status as a fugitive; his possession of destructive devices and components to make them, including an exploding arrow and at least nine hand grenades; and his false statement on a 2011 application for a federal firearms license in which he used Camp’s identity and falsely claimed that he was not a fugitive from justice or charged with a felony. In November 2014, May was charged with possession of child pornography based on information found during searches of his computer.
In addition to the illegal firearms and child exploitation evidence, evidence presented to the Court at sentencing revealed that, along with the weapons found at the Houston trailer, agents recovered extensive hate-filled writings authored by May. In these journals, May expressed hatred for Muslims, for the President of the United States, and other groups, and he discussed taking violent actions against those he opposed.
Judge Gleason found clear and convincing evidence that May committed the child pornography offense as a pattern of activity involving the sexual abuse or exploitation of a minor, based on his 1990 admissions to the allegations made in Florida. In imposing sentence, she found that the hate-filled writings were “disturbing” and indicated a “real possibility” that he intended to use the weapons to inflict violence on others. She also described his interest in child pornography as “perverse.”
The judge ordered restitution to the State of Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development in the amount of $8684, representing the money he was paid for obtaining unemployment benefits under a false name.
United States Attorney Karen Loeffler commended the investigative team for their dedicated efforts following up the evidence uncovered during May’s arrest to determine the full scope of his illegal activities. Ms. Loeffler also noted the protection of First and Second Amendment rights is an important tenet of American justice. However, the intersection of possession of illegal weapons and hate speech is deeply disturbing. It is something we must all be vigilant in opposing to protect our community.
Ms. Loeffler commends the efforts of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Anchorage Division; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for conducting the investigation that led to the Alaska indictments and arrest. Thanks are also due to the FBI Tampa Division, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, the State’s Attorney’s Office in Brandenton, Florida, and the Manatee County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office.