By a Biometrica staffer
Michael David Miller of southwestern Missouri was sentenced on March 9 to 20 years without parole, for using a social media app to contact 12- and 13-year-old girls in Canada and induce them to engage in sexually explicit behavior.
Miller, 40, pleaded guilty on June 2 to the coercion and enticement of a minor.
On May 23, 2019, law enforcement in Ottawa, Canada, received complaints that a man — later identified as Miller — communicating via snapchat, asked the teenagers to engage in sexually explicit activity, sent videos and images of child pornography and masturbated while on video chat with some of the minors.
Snapchat submitted 25 files of suspected child pornography to law enforcement, which had been sent between Jan. 6 and May 29, 2019, said a Justice Department press release.
Local law enforcement began investigating after Miller was identified. Investigators also received information from an adult woman regarding Miller’s conduct via text messages and video chat through the Duo application.
Officers executed a search warrant at Miller’s residence on July 18, 2019, during which multiple devices were seized. A forensic examination of those devices found videos and images of child pornography on his laptop computer.
Miller also admitted that he engaged in similar criminal conduct with children in Nebraska and Wisconsin.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller.
The investigation that resulted in the apprehension and prosecution of Michael Miller was conducted under Homeland Security Investigations’ Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators.
Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 25,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors and sex trafficking of children.
HSI lists protecting the public from victimization, and within this the child exploitations investigations program as central to their mission.
Key goals include identifying and rescuing child victims, identifying and apprehending offenders, preventing transnational child sexual abuse and helping make the Internet a safer place for children.
This case was investigated jointly by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s, HSI, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Springfield (Missouri) Police Department.