TALLAHASSEE, FL (STL.News) David Wayne Aring, 49, formerly of Tallahassee, pled guilty on Monday, November 23, to a federal charge of receipt of child pornography. Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the guilty plea.
Between March 26, 2017, and December 2, 2019, from his former Tallahassee apartment, Aring used a peer-to-peer file sharing program to download digital images and videos depicting child pornography. A search warrant was executed on Aring’s apartment on January 7, 2020, and investigators located a USB storage device and a desktop computer. Investigators determined the USB device contained thousands of digital files that contained child pornography, including bestiality and bondage involving children under the age of 12 (most notably infants and toddlers).
“We make a priority of punishing crimes against children as among the most heinous kinds of offenses — and that includes the egregious crime of child pornography,” said U.S. Attorney Keefe. “Those who seek to view and maintain this illegal content facilitate the efforts of those who produce child pornography, which is robbing so many of our children of their innocence and their very childhood.”
Aring’s desktop computer was forensically analyzed and was found to contain thousands of digital images that depicted child pornography. Further, installed on the desktop computer was a peer-to-peer file sharing program that was used to search for terms germane to child pornography, and the file sharing program was found to have been used to download over 17,000 files since May 6, 2018.
This case was jointly investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorneys Justin M. Keen and Meredith Steer are prosecuting the case.
“One of our most important jobs is combatting crimes against our children, and FDLE agents continue to investigate and arrest criminals who want to harm our youth,” said FDLE Tallahassee Special Agent in Charge Mark Perez. “I appreciate our partnership with U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe and thank our agents for their work on this case.”
Aring faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Further, Aring faces up to life on supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender.
Aring’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 16, 2021, at the United States District Court in Tallahassee, before Judge Allen Winsor.