A 37-year-old Belleville man has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for receiving and possessing prepubescent child pornography, according to U.S. Attorney Donald Boyce.
Michael H. McDaniel will serve 97 months for each count to be followed by 10 years of supervised release for each count. McDaniel was also ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution to one of the victims identified in the child pornography he collected and distributed.
The charges stem from April 6, 2016, when authorities seized a desktop computer and laptop from a residence where McDaniel was living with some coworkers. He told authorities they would find child pornography on both computers.
McDaniel admitted on the same day to first viewing child pornography in February 2014 and to last viewing it in April 2015. He also admitted to downloading child pornography, but said his roommates did not know about his actions or view the pornography with him.
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A forensic review of the computers revealed they both contained child pornography and showed McDaniel had received child pornography on April 3 and April 6, 2015.
The U.S. Marshals Service took McDaniel into custody after the sentencing hearing. The FBI’s Springfield Child Exploitation Task Force investigated the case. The case was assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.
The case was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat of child sexual exploitation and abuse. The project’s goal is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.