Man pleads guilty in child pornography case
By Tim Ruzek
Post-Bulletin, Austin MN
An Austin man pleaded guilty this week to a felony charge involving child pornography.
Michael Joseph Anderson, 20, pleaded guilty Monday to a single felony count of dissemination of pornographic work involving minors, Mower District Court records show.
Under a plea agreement, prosecutors will dismiss Anderson’s other felony count of possessing pornographic work involving minors.
Free on bail, Anderson will be sentenced Sept. 5.
Prosecutors filed charges in December 2007 against Anderson, a former Austin resident who was living in Fair Hope, Ala., at the time.
According to the criminal complaint, Anderson disseminated and possessed child porn between Nov. 11, 2005 and Nov. 6, 2006, while living in Austin.
The St. Paul Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force got a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The national organization had received a tip from an employee at Photobucket.com related to one of its subscribers’ accounts. Photobucket.com is a Web site that hosts the sharing of video and photos.
An investigation traced the subscriber’s Internet provider address to an account Anderson used in Austin, the complaint says. The account allegedly had about 100 images of child pornography.
St. Paul authorities contacted Austin police on Oct. 3, 2006, about the matter. An Austin detective then found the Photobucket.com account was last accessed in June 2006 from a different Internet-provider account.
On Nov. 6, 2006, authorities conducted a search warrant at an Austin home, seizing a computer, floppy disks and CD-ROMs. Out of the 82 items seized from the home’s computer desk, 11 contained child pornography, the complaint says.
Authorities found 45 video images and 694 photograph images designated as child pornography, the complaint says. The home’s owners told police they believed Anderson, who moved three months earlier to Texas, was the suspect.
A subsequent investigation by Austin police linked Anderson’s e-mail accounts and user information to the possession and dissemination of the child pornography, the complaint says.