Jackson, TN – A former Selmer Police Department lieutenant has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for accessing child pornography on a hidden website. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentence today.
According to information presented in court, Tony O. Miller, 36, of Finger, Tennessee, was a member of a website dedicated to sharing child pornography. Miller used special technology to access it regularly between early January and March 2015. The website could not be found using traditional search engines, like Google or Bing; members had to use special technology designed to conceal their identity in order to access it. Images of minor children engaging in sexual activity with adults were featured on the website. Some of the minors were under 12 years of age.
An undercover investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified users of a website set up for the purposes of sharing child pornography. Visitors to the website could view, download, and comment on other users’ material, as well as upload their own. Miller was identified as one of the website’s users.
At the time of the aforementioned conduct, Miller was a lieutenant with the Selmer Police Department and studying to become a lawyer.
Miller admitted that he used the Internet and work-issued digital devices to access the website and view child pornography. He also admitted to using technology to try to hide his criminal activity.
In September 2016, Miller pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen to one count of accessing with intent to view child pornography.
On Thursday, January 05, 2017, the Court heard testimony that Miller destroyed evidence during law enforcement’s investigation into the case. Judge Breen subsequently sentenced Miller to 30 months in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the FBI Major Case Coordination Unit in Linthicum, Maryland, and the Selmer Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Ireland prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.
Anyone who believes they may have information about related activities is asked to contact the Memphis Child Exploitation Task Force at 901.747.4300.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.