ASHEVILLE, N.C. (USDOJ.Today) Today, Chief U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced Mance Lee Ruvolo, 41, of Asheville, to 168 months in prison on transportation of child pornography charges, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Ruvolo was also ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender after he is released from prison.
Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina, and Robert Schurmeier, Director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.
According to filed documents and statements made in court, on July 13, 2018, law enforcement became aware that an individual was using an e-mail address to upload images containing child pornography. Law enforcement identified the email account user as Ruvolo, and positively linked to Ruvolo the cell phone used to upload the child pornography. Court documents also show that a review of Ruvolo’s email account revealed additional images and videos of child exploitation, including videos and images of prepubescent children being sexually abused. Ruvolo pleaded guilty to transportation of child pornography on January 3, 2020.
Ruvolo is currently in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
U.S. Attorney Murray thanked HSI and SBI for handling the investigation.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) Alexis Solheim, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, prosecuted the case. Ms. Solheim is a state prosecutor with the office of the 43rd Prosecutorial District, and was assigned by District Attorney Ashley Welch to serve as a SAUSA with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville. Ms. Solheim is duly sworn in both state and federal courts. The SAUSA position is a reflection of the partnership between the office of the 43rd Prosecutorial District and the United States Attorney’s Office.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice, aimed at combating the growing online sexual exploitation of children. By combining resources, federal, state and local agencies are better able to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue those victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.