ALBANY, Ga. — A Pelham, Georgia man has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges, said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Michael S. King, 41, of Pelham, entered a guilty plea today to count one of his indictment charging him with distribution of child pornography before U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to life for his crime. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.
Mr. King’s illegal activity was discovered on August 13, 2018 during an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Using the name “SilentDream1977”, the defendant uploaded and distributed images of child pornography on the Kik App, an online instant messaging application. The defendant also used the name “Silent Dream 78” on the Kik App. HSI agents, with assistance from the Pelham Police Department, executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on January 17, 2019. Mr. King had two desktop computers, a laptop, iPad, iPhone and two thumb drives, all containing child pornography. Mr. King admitted he had been possessing, downloading and viewing child pornography “for forever.”
“The distribution of child pornography online is in our own backyards, not just in a distant city in another country,” said Charlie Peeler, the U.S. Attorney. “These are not nameless victims, but real children who are being horribly abused and hurt. These children are victimized every time the images are shared and viewed. We will prosecute child pornography distributors to the fullest extent allowed by law. I want to thank HSI and the Pelham Police Department for their work protecting children and tracking down child perpetrators.”
“While shutting down this defendant’s heinous activity will never bring back the innocence that these children lost, it should serve as a message that these types of criminals cannot hide behind the anonymity of a computer screen,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in Alabama and Georgia. “HSI and its law enforcement partners throughout the country have the tools to identify and shutdown these perpetrators who re-victimize these children every time they share these disgusting images.”
The case was investigated by HSI and the Pelham Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Crane is prosecuting the case for the Government. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.