Chief United States District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan has sentenced Michael Lee Aurandt, 51, Jacksonville, to 12 years in federal prison for distributing child sexual abuse images and videos over the internet.
Aurandt was also ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervised release, register as a sex offender, and pay $3,000 in restitution to a victim of his offense. Aurandt pleaded guilty on December 21, 2021.
According to court documents, several FBI field offices began investigating Aurandt for uploading child sexual abuse materials to chat applications over the internet. In October 2020, Aurandt was observed posting videos and images depicting children being sexually abused in a chat app.
The following month, Aurandt uploaded five videos containing child sex abuse materials in a chat app, which was reported to the FBI through a CyberTip submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The FBI investigation identified Aurandt as the source of the distributions through linked internet protocol (IP) addresses.
On August 27, 2021, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Aurandt’s residence, and he was arrested later that day. Aurandt admitted to viewing and distributing child sex abuse materials using the chat app accounts previously identified by FBI. He stated he would create new accounts whenever his accounts were shut down for violating the terms of service of the chat app.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington. The forfeiture of assets was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Mai Tran.