James Matthew Tafelmeyer Sentenced in U.S. District Court
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 30, 2013|
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on April 30, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, James Matthew Tafelmeyer, a 32-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. Tafelmeyer was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 97 months
- Special assessment: $100
- Supervised release: 15 years
Tafelmeyer was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to receipt of child pornography.
In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
Law enforcement officers were investigating allegations of child pornography access by users utilizing the peer-to-peer file sharing network. One investigation involved a person in Billings who had child pornography available to share via a file sharing program. A search warrant was obtained for the residence and served on December 1, 2011.
Tafelmeyer was the occupant of the residence. When questioned, Tafelmeyer admitted that he used the peer-to-peer file sharing program Limewire to receive and possess hundreds of child pornography videos and images. He detailed the search terms he used to find child pornography on Limewire and how he had saved it to various computers and other equipment and how he had been doing so since 2004.
Agents seized various computer equipment at Tafelmeyer’s residence. Subsequent forensic examination revealed hundreds of images and movies of child pornography that Tafelmeyer had received via the Internet for years and continuing until the equipment was seized. Tafelmeyer possessed images and movies of children clearly prepubescent and children engaged in sadistic or masochistic abuse or other depictions of violence. Tafelmeyer possessed a total of over 2,000 images and 24 videos of child pornography on the equipment specified in the forfeiture count.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing,” guidelines mandate that Tafelmeyer will likely serve all the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Tafelmeyer does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Billings Police Department, and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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 PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab “Resources.”