HOUSTON – A 30-year-old Southeast Texas man who posted hundreds of images depicting child pornography on two separate public blogs in 2017 and 2018 was sentenced Tuesday to more than 12 years in federal prison.
This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Houston, Texas, in cooperation with the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Marcus Ryan Howell, a resident of Lake Jackson, Texas, was sentenced Oct. 13 in the Southern District of Texas to 151 months in federal prison for two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Howell pleaded guilty to the charges on March 12.
Following his prison term, Howell will be required to serve 10 years on supervised release, during which time he will have to comply with numerous conditions that restrict his access to children and the internet. Howell will also be required to register as a sex offender.
In December 2017, authorities received information that a social media user was posting child exploitation material on a public blog. They later learned of a second blog with a different username which also contained child pornography. Law enforcement traced both blogs to an IP address registered to Howell’s Lake Jackson address.
They executed a search warrant and seized an HP desktop computer belonging to Howell, which was found to contain multiple images and videos of child pornography. Approximately 20 of the videos were longer than five minutes in length, the longest of which lasted nearly 11 minutes.
Howell was ultimately held responsible for a total of 34 GIFs, 354 videos and 1,503 photos depicting child pornography.
Howell will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sherri Zack and Stephanie Bauman prosecuted the case.