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Port Deposit man pleads guilty to receiving child pornography

Abusive BehaviorJustice SystemConservationRod J. RosensteinU.S. Secret Service

A Port Deposit man pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges of possessing child pornography.

According to the plea agreement, on January 30, 2011, police seized a laptop computer, desktop computer, camera, hard drive and other digital media from Michael Dean Ragan Jr., 30, during a search in an unrelated counterfeit currency investigation, according to a news release from the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office.

Ragan later pleaded guilty to state counterfeit charges. A subsequent forensic examination of the items seized during the search found approximately 335 images and 17 videos of minors, including prepubescent minors, engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including acts of sadism, masochism of other depictions of violence.

In addition, a video on a seized DVD depicted Ragan engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a minor male. According to the statement of facts entered as part of Ragan's plea, the video was taken without the knowledge of the minor male. Ragan admitted engaging in sexually explicit conduct with the minor male and also acknowledged being an administrator on a website dedicated to viewing, sharing and distributing child pornography, prosecutors said. Ragan also received a video on May 26, 2010, depicting two minor males engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

As part of his plea agreement, Ragan will be required to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), according to the news release. The guilty plea/ was announced by Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the FBI; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Lisa Quinn of the U.S. Secret Service Baltimore Office.

The sentencing range for receipt of child pornography is a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. Ragan and the government have agreed that if the court accepts the plea agreement Ragan will be sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by at least 20 years, but up to a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for Sept. 4 at 10:30 a.m. in the Federal District Court in Baltimore.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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