RENO, Nev. – A Reno resident pleaded guilty yesterday to receiving thousands of images and videos of prepubescent minors — including children under 12 years old — engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Ryan Thomas Eley (25) pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Anne R. Traum presided over the hearing and scheduled sentencing for September 6, 2022.
According to court documents and admissions Eley made in court, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) forwarded at least 12 CyberTips — pertaining to an IP address originating from Eley’s residence — to law enforcement. On August 4, 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Eley’s residence and seized USB flash drives, an external hard drive, and a cell phone belonging to Eley. Forensic analysis of the seized devices revealed that some of the images and videos found on his devices depicted prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct and intercourse with adults. In total, over 2,700 child pornography images and over 400 child pornography videos were recovered from Eley’s electronic devices.
At sentencing, Eley faces a statutory mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, Eley also will be required to register as a sex offender.
U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans for the FBI made the announcement.
This case was investigated by the FBI, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Sparks Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph J. St. Clair is prosecuting the case.
The 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. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 and for information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Report child sexual exploitation to NCMEC by calling the hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or online at www.cybertipline.org.