(STL.News) – United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announced that Ryan Milholland, 50, formerly of Daphne, Alabama, was sentenced today in federal court on a charge of distribution of child pornography. Miholland pled guilty to the charge in June of 2020.
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency agent was conducting a routine undercover internet investigation when he discovered an IP address number that was sharing suspected child pornography. These files were available to share through a public file sharing network called Shareaza. The agent was able to determine the physical address associated with the IP address, which belonged to Milholland.
Milholland agreed to provide a statement regarding his internet activity and consented to a preliminary search of his computer. During Milholland’s statement he admitted to utilizing Shareaza to download pornography to his computer. Milholland stated that he became concerned with the law enforcement presence at his apartment complex, and knowing that his computer contained illicit images of minors, he started a program to wipe the hard drive in his computer. He stated he started this program because he knew it was against the law to possess images of minors in illicit activity. The search of Milholland’s computer uncovered 3,232 files of potential child abuse material.
United States District Court Judge Jeffrey Beaverstock imposed a sentence of 151 months imprisonment. The judge ordered that Milholland serve a fifteen-year term of supervised release beginning upon his discharge from prison. Upon his release from prison, Milholland will be required to undergo sex offender treatment, to register as a sex offender, and to have no contact with minors. Judge Beaverstock ordered that Milholland pay $5,100 in special assessments.
This case was 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 the 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.
The case was investigated by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted in the United States Attorney’s Office by Assistant United States Attorney Kacey Chappelear.