HOUSTON – A 30-year-old man who posted hundreds of images depicting child pornography on two separate public blogs in 2017 and 2018 has been ordered to federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Marcus Ryan Howell pleaded guilty March 12 to two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Today, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey V. Brown ordered him to serve 151 months in federal prison. Following his prison term, Howell will serve 10 years on supervised release, during which time he will have to comply with numerous conditions that restrict his access to children and the internet. Howell will also be required to register as a sex offender.
In December 2017, authorities received information that a social media user was posting child exploitation material on a public blog. They later learned of a second blog with a different user name which also contained child pornography. Law enforcement traced both blogs to an IP address registered to Howell’s Lake Jackson address.
They executed a search warrant and seized an HP desktop computer belonging to Howell, which was found to contain multiple images and videos of child pornography. Approximately 20 of the videos were longer than five minutes in length, the longest of which lasted nearly 11 minutes.
Howell was ultimately held responsible for a total of 34 GIFs, 354 videos and 1,503 photos depicting child pornography.
Howell has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sherri Zack and Stephanie Bauman prosecuted the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources tab on that page.