Fallston man convicted in distribution of child pornography

May 11—A Fallston man was convicted May 1 in U.S. District Court for distribution of child pornography.

Evidence presented before Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher established that Robert Jackson Wyatt, Jr., 54, distributed child pornography by peer-to-peer online file sharing. Wyatt also had a previous federal conviction for possession of child pornography.

On Aug. 31, 2021, Maryland State Police were conducting an investigation into offenders sharing child pornography using a communication protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing that enables users to distribute data and electronic files over the Internet in a decentralized manner. An IP address that was sharing suspected child pornography was identified as belonging to Wyatt and a search warrant for his home was executed on Oct. 1, 2021, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office's news release.

Wyatt was not home but was at a nearby marina on his boat, where he often spent time. Investigators went to the marina and watched as Wyatt returned to his residence, where he was confronted by investigators.

Wyatt consented to a search of his cellphone and a Maryland State Police digital forensic examiner found several files of child pornography on the phone. A peer-to-peer file-sharing program was installed on the phone, as well as a virtual private network application and an anti-forensic application, the release said.

On Oct. 26, 2021, a search warrant was executed on Wyatt's boat. Two thumb drives were found with multiple images and videos of child pornography. Several of the files located on Wyatt's devices matched those that were found during the Maryland State Police investigation.

Wyatt admitted to sharing the files with the investigator on Aug. 31, 2021. In total, over 1,170 images files and over 170 video files were located on Wyatt's devices, according to the release.

Wyatt was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervision upon release. He will be required to register as a sex offender.