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Hampstead man pleads guilty to possession of more than 300 files of child pornography

A Hampstead man pleaded guilty Monday to the possession of more than 300 illegal images and videos of child pornography on his cell phone, federal prosecutors announced.

Tyler Curtis, 24, and prosecutors have agreed that he will be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison if the court accepts the plea agreement, according to a news release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Baltimore. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for 2 p.m. Sept. 30.

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His twin brother, Matthew Curtis, is facing similar charges stemming from the 2020 search of their residence in Hampstead. Matthew Curtis has a hearing scheduled for Aug. 24 in U.S. District Court. Both brothers are registered sex offenders following previous child pornography convictions in Carroll County courts in 2017.

From February 2019 to May 2020, Curtis downloaded images and videos of child pornography on a cloud-based file storage and hosting service, according to his guilty plea. On March 5, 2020, the cloud-based service submitted a CyberTip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Specifically, the service reported that a user account had uploaded 22 files of suspected child pornography. Images included the sexual abuse of prepubescent children.

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Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Curtis’s residence on May 28, 2020, according to the plea agreement. During an interview with law enforcement, Curtis falsely informed investigators that he had not viewed child pornography since his 2017 conviction for child pornography-related offenses. He also falsely stated that he did not have a cell phone in his possession.

As a result of the search warrant, law enforcement seized a cell phone that was hidden in the bottom of Curtis’s bedroom dresser.

A forensic review of Curtis’s hidden cell phone revealed artifacts associated with at least 13 different email addresses. Investigators also discovered 115 images and 137 videos of child pornography on Curtis’s cell phone, including videos that depicted abuse of an infant or toddler, according to prosecutors.

A forensic review of Curtis’s file storage and hosting service account revealed that Curtis uploaded 185 images and 10 videos of child pornography to the service.

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A message left with Curtis’s attorney seeking comment was not immediately returned.

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, according to a news release.

Baltimore Sun Media reporter James Whitlow contributed to this article.

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