Butler Man Distributed Child Pornography to Undercover New Jersey FBI Agent
PITTSBURGH—A Butler County resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of distribution of child pornography, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Justin Ellenberger, 26, of Butler, Pa., pleaded guilty on April 8 to one count before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on March 10, 2014, Ellenberger distributed, to an a FBI agent working in Newark, New Jersey, in an undercover capacity, 19 photographs and a video contained in computer graphics files which depicted minors, some under the age of 12 years, engaging in sexually explicit conduct. A search warrant later executed at Ellenberger’s residence resulted in the seizure of two computers and an external hard drive, in which thousands of still images and videos had been stored by Ellenberger.
Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for July 29, 2015, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than five years nor more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court released Ellenberger on a bond which requires, among other things, that he be confined to his home and that he not have access to minor children.
Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Justin Ellenberger.