A man formerly stationed at Scott Air Force Base pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to possession of prepubescent child pornography, according to Acting U.S. Attorney James L. Porter.
Porter, for the Southern District of Illinois, identified the defendant as 25-year-old Robert W. McNair Jr.
McNair faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of five years to life. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 6 in Benton.
Porter said in a press release that the child pornography charge arose after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children produced three CyberTipline reports after receiving information from Microsoft that an individual, identified as McNair, was uploading what appeared to be images of child pornography to his Microsoft SkyDrive account. Many image and video files were of prepubescent children, according to Porter.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
The first CyberTipline Report noted that McNair, using an e-mail address of “firstname.lastname@example.org,” had uploaded one image to his SkyDrive account on March 24, 2014. The second CyberTipline Report noted McNair, using the e-mail address “email@example.com,” uploaded one image to that account on April 14, 2014. Finally, the third CyberTipline Report noted a person identified as McNair uploaded 21 images to that account, again using the same previous email address on April 14, 2014. Porter said reports noted that McNair used the same IP address when he uploaded the images.
An administrative subpoena determined that the subscriber of the IP address used at the time of the uploads belonged to McNair, who was stationed at Scott Air Force Base but resided in Belleville, according to the press release. Porter said the Department of Homeland Security executed a search warrant at McNair’s address, and when McNair and his roommate were asked if they shared electronic devices, both individuals indicated that they did not. The roommate indicated that the two had separate Wi-Fi accounts. During the search, McNair allegedly made some statements about viewing child pornography on the Torrent network, but refused to divulge the specific websites that he had visited.
Among the items seized from McNair was a Western Digital My Passport external hard drive. A forensic review of the hard drive revealed that it contained 4,522 images and 144 videos of child pornography, Porter said.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
The case was investigated by the Belleville Police Department, Air Force Office of Special Investigations and Homeland Security Investigations. The case was assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Scott and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Shane Kelbley.