Clermont Man Pleads Guilty to Transporting Child Pornography Over the Internet
OCALA, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces today that Aaron Michael Murray (22, Clermont) has pleaded guilty to transporting child pornography over the Internet. He faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years, up to 20 years, in federal prison and a potential life term of supervised release. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for July 23, 2015, in Orlando.
According to court documents, law enforcement officers in Texas executed a search warrant at a residence and discovered child pornography on a computer that was used by a minor child. Further investigation revealed that the child had received images depicting child pornography from an individual in Florida. This individual, who was subsequently identified as Murray, had portrayed himself to be a minor during online conversations with the child in Texas.
A search warrant was executed at Murray’s home, and a laptop computer and iPod Touch were analyzed by the FBI. Online chat messages sent by Murray, posing as a child, were recovered, along with at least 250 images and videos depicting child pornography. Evidence obtained from his e-mail account showed that Murray had sent at least 246 images of child pornography to other users, including several that depicted young boys engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
This case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Dallas (Texas) Police Department, and the Carrollton (Texas) Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown and Assistant United States Attorney Bryon R. Aven.
It is another case 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 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.justice.gov/psc.