Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Marshall Tyler Sills (27, Jacksonville) to 10 years in federal prison, followed by a 15-year term of supervised release, for distributing child sexual abuse materials. Sills is also required to register as a sex offender.
Sills had pleaded guilty on June 2, 2021.
According to court documents, in May 2020, agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) began investigating a lead from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) about the uploading and sharing of files depicting the sexual abuse of children from a residence in Jacksonville Heights. CCSO reported that an agent with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation had also commenced an investigation into an upload and distribution of files of child sexual abuse material from the same residence around the same time period. HSI learned that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office had also been investigating the sharing of depictions of the sexual abuse of children from the same residence in July 2020, and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office had begun an investigation of the upload of files depicting sexual abuse from the residence in September 2020. HSI, working with CCSO and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, executed a federal search warrant at the residence on December 3, 2020. However, HSI discovered that Sills had recently moved from the residence in Jacksonville Heights to an apartment in the Ortega area. HSI determined that the same file-sharing program that had been used at Sills’s former residence was being used at Sills’s new address. Agents located internet activity consistent with the upload of depictions of child sex abuse.
On December 17, 2020, HSI executed a federal search warrant at Sills’s Ortega apartment and interviewed Sills, who admitted to receiving, downloading, and viewing images and videos of child sexual abuse. Sills acknowledged that he has a sexual interest in children. Agents seized Sills’s desktop computer, which contained more than 1,900 files depicting children being sexually abused.
“Every time child pornography is shared, it victimizes a child again,” said HSI Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips. “HSI special agents and our partners with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office have made sure this predator will account for his victimization of our most vulnerable.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, along with information from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly S. Karase.
This is another case 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.
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