United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Eric J. Becker, 26, formerly of Lincoln, Nebraska, was sentenced May 18, 2018, in Lincoln, Nebraska, to 11 years in prison by United States District Judge John M. Gerrard, for distribution and receipt of child pornography. After his release from federal prison, Becker will be required to serve 14 years on supervised release and register as a sex offender. He is also required to pay $1,000 restitution.
In November of 2016, Facebook provided several cybertips to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding a Facebook account using the name “Ashley Morris”. The account was opened in December of 2015 and indicated that the account holder was a 19-year-old female living in York, Nebraska. Facebook reported that the account was receiving images of underage individuals engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Facebook identified 5 accounts belonging to users under the age of 18. Facebook also provided portions of messages between “Ashley” and the underage users.
Using information from Facebook and IP addresses, a second Facebook account for Becker (using his real name) was identified as using the same device as the “Ashley Morris” account. Becker’s account showed that he lived in Lincoln. The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office obtained a search warrant for Becker’s residence and recovered approximately 25,000 images of child pornography, including those sent from minor victims, from Becker’s computer and phone. These images, in addition to other images of child pornography, were received and distributed by Becker between May, 2014 and January, 2017.
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 United States 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.
This case was investigated by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.