A Cumberland man was sentenced in federal court Wednesday to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release for his part in running a child pornography website, prosecutors said.
George Sell, 70, pleaded guilty in November to conspiring to transport child pornography, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Maryland said in a statement Wednesday.
From December 2006 through August 2008, Sell was the administrator of a website called the "Country Lounge" that was dedicated to trading child pornography images, the government said. Sell and others approved new members to use the site.
The website — hosted on servers in Virginia and Texas — was shut down by the government in October 2008. Just before the seizure, 142 members belonged to the online "bulletin board."
Sell, with others, took over the website from its former administrator and was the day-to-day manager of the site for nearly two years, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
"The dismantling of 'Country Lounge' is another stark warning to would-be child predators who think they can trade in child pornography and commit heinous acts against innocent children while hiding behind pseudonyms and other technological tricks," said William Winter, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations division, in the statement. "As these criminals try new techniques to digitally erase their trail [the government will] continue to upgrade our strategies and technology to track down the depraved individuals who bring suffering to children."
Another Maryland resident, Terry Lee Nolley, 47, of Silver Spring, pleaded guilty in October to being involved with the same website. He was sentenced to 97 months in prison followed by lifetime supervised release.