Morganton, N.C. Man Is Sentenced To 13+ Years For Transportation Of Child Pornography

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Martin Lee McGee, 32, of Morganton, N.C., was sentenced to 160 months in federal prison today for transporting child pornography, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term, McGee was ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release, to register as a sex offender, and to pay a $100 special assessment, a $5,000 Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JTVA) assessment, and a $35,000 Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act (AVAA) assessment.

Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division and Chief Vidal Sipe of the Newton Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to court records and today’s sentencing hearing, in April 2020, law enforcement were alerted to an individual, later identified as McGee, using Snapchat to upload child pornography. Law enforcement executed search warrants at McGee’s residence and Snapchat account. A forensic analysis of the seized devices and information revealed that McGee possessed more than 13,500 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children. Some of the child pornography in McGee’s extensive collection depicted minors as young as toddlers engaging in sadistic and masochistic conduct.   

On October 6, 2021, McGee pleaded guilty to transportation of child pornography. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons Upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney King commended the FBI and the Newton Police Department for their investigation of the case, and thanked the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.

Assistant United States Attorneys Cortney Randall and Nick J. Miller prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.