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June 23, 2022Chattanooga, TN, United StatesChild Exploitation

Motocross instructor indicted in multi-state HSI investigation

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – A motocross instructor who traveled the country building motocross tracks and mentoring children was charged by a federal grand jury for multiple child exploitation offenses, June 22. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Chattanooga is investigating this case jointly with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), the Chattanooga Police Department (CPD), and HSI field offices throughout the country.

According to court documents, Ryan Meyung, 30, engaged six minor victims in sexually explicit conduct to produce images of child sexual abuse, and transported and possessed visual images of child sexual abuse. The alleged crimes occurred between 2019 and 2021; Meyung was arrested on state charges in December 2021 and has remained in custody.

“There is no place in our society for those who prey on innocent children and individuals who use their position of trust to gain access to children are particularly heinous,” said Jerry C. Templet, special agent in charge of HSI Nashville. “We are thankful to our special agents and our law enforcement partners who do the difficult but important work of investigating these crimes and safeguarding our nation’s children.”

Investigators believe Meyung may have victimized additional children. He was known to frequent states including Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

“The result of this investigation is a direct result of collaborative efforts and diligence. The Chattanooga Police Department is profoundly grateful for its partnerships in the law enforcement community and especially proud of our investigators for their commitment to justice for these victims,” said Celeste Murphy, CPD chief of police.

Meyung is charged with six counts of producing child pornography, one count of transporting child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography. If convicted, Meyung faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 210 years in prison.

“This federal indictment is a collective effort by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, HSI, and the Chattanooga Police Department’s extensive investigation into Ryan Meyung’s horrific actions. The HCSO is committed to the protection and advocacy of our community’s children and will pursue those who seek to victimize and prey upon them,” said Austin Garrett, HCSO chief deputy.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan of the Northern District of Georgia, and Resident Agent in Charge Arturo Napolitano of HSI Chattanooga announced the grand jury results.

Trial Attorney Jessica L. Urban of the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin N. Spritzer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia are prosecuting the case.

One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission. HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify, and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.

Anyone with information related to Meyung that could further law enforcement’s investigation, or that suspects a particular child may have been one of his victims, is encouraged to call the HSI tip line at 866-347-2423 or file a report online.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated: 06/24/2022