A Colorado Springs man was sentenced to jail for possession of over 700,000 child pornography images.
64-year-old Michael Lyle Blair of Colorado Springs was sentenced on May 17 to serve 10 years in a federal prison. Blair was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on March 16, 2017 and later pleaded guilty in November.
Court documents revealed that Blair collected more than 700,000 images of child pornography and was involved in a lengthy pattern of sexual abuse against minors. His wife, Sonia Blair, was the target of a money-laundering investigation with Homeland security which prompted the investigation into Blair.
Homeland Security Investigations believed that Sonia was getting money from the international trafficking of Asian women and their prostitution. Upon executing a search warrant at the couples home, agents obtained an external hard drive that later showed the images of child pornography.
After another search warrant was obtained, agents also discovered another computer which revealed 700,000 images of child pornography including images of young children being sexually abused, according to court documents. The images were stored in folders with different labels like "hardcore childporn."
Agents also found hundreds of stories on the hard drive describing the abduction or sexual abuse of children. "Blair stole more than innocence with the 700,000 images he obtained. For years he left a trail of silent victims," said U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. "With this sentence, those victims are finally heard. And Blair will pay every day for the next ten years in federal prison."
Blair was ordered to serve seven years on supervised release and pay $21,000 in restitution following his prison sentence.
“Considering the traumatic impacts on victims of child pornography, the resulting federal prison sentences following a conviction are justifiably significant,” said Steve Cagen, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “The 700,000 child pornography images that Blair collected involved numerous young and innocent traumatized victims. HSI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office worked together to provide justice to these victims, while protecting other potential victims by removing Blair from the community and from cyberspace.”