Public Safety

Anamosa man faces up to 20 years in federal prison for child porn

Cyber tip prompts investigation

CEDAR RAPIDS — An Anamosa man was convicted Monday in federal court for possession of child pornography.

Austin Marek, 22, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of possession of child pornography. During the plea hearing, Marek admitted that he knowingly possessed child pornography, including one or more depictions of prepubescent children in 2016.

A search warrant filed in Jones County shows Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation searched Marek’s home, where he lived with his father, on Nov. 2, 2016 and confiscated computers, cellphones, video camera, external hard drives and other items. Investigators received a cyber tip originally sent to DCI Cyber Crime Unit in Polk County from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Aug. 4, 2016.

Google submitted information to the center of two pornographic images of minor girls uploaded to email accounts eventually identified, with the help of internet providers, as belonging to Marek, according to the warrant. Investigators used the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Jones County Assessor Office records helped locate the address of Marek.

Marek faces up to 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release following any prison time. Sentencing will be set after a presentence report is prepared.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

The case was 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.

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