Acting United States Attorney Robert C. Stuart announced that Michael W. Kruse, 69, of Columbus, Nebraska, was sentenced today in Lincoln, Nebraska, to 4 years in prison by United States Senior District Judge Richard G. Kopf, for possession of child pornography. In addition to his prison term, Kruse will be required to serve 5 years of supervised release and register as a sex offender.
In October of 2015, an investigator with the Columbus Police Department received information from an investigator with the Nebraska State Attorney General’s Office that they were monitoring an IP address that was assigned to a residence in Columbus, Nebraska. This IP address reflected that a computer using the address had files available for sharing and downloading that were considered child pornography. The investigator from the Attorney General’s Office was able to download numerous video files which contained child pornography. The Columbus Police Department issued a subpoena to the IP provider and determined that it was assigned to Kruse at his residence in Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska.
A search warrant was executed at Kruse’s residence and officers made contact with Kruse who admitted to using a file sharing program to download child pornography. Later forensic investigation of the computers and storage media uncovered over 600 videos and still images of child pornography, including videos of victims known by law enforcement from previous investigations outside the state of Nebraska.
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 Columbus Police Department and the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.