By | August 14, 2021

The Defendant Secretly Took Pictures of Young Girls in Public Places and Posted Them to A Foreign Image Website

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Chief U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger sentenced today Jason Michael Miles, 37, of Forest City, N.C., to 132 months in prison for receipt of child pornography, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term imposed, Miles was ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as sex offender after his incarceration.

Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina, joins Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making today’s announcement.

According to admissions contained in plea documents and today’s sentencing hearing, on February 24, 2018, New Zealand investigators became aware that an individual later identified as Miles was utilizing the username “PURSEANON” to post pictures of children to a foreign image website. Court records show that Miles had posted approximately 15 photos albums containing images of young girls secretly taken in public places. One of the albums, titled “GIRL AT CVS,” contained information that helped investigators determine the images were taken a CVS store located in Morganton, N.C.

According to court documents, on February 25, 2018, New Zealand investigators began undercover communications with Miles, during which Miles expressed his interest in children and distributed files containing depictions of the sexual abuse of children to the undercover investigator. After law enforcement determined Miles’ identity, the investigation was transferred to the HSI office in Hendersonville, N.C. On May 31, 2018, HSI agents executed a search warrant at Miles’ residence in Rutherford County. During the execution of the search warrant, law enforcement seized multiple electronic devices. An analysis of the seized devices revealed that Miles had an extensive library of child pornography that contained more than 7,193 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, including infants and toddlers.

Court records show that while Miles was serving in the U.S. Air Force, he was convicted of two counts of Indecent Liberties With a Child Under Age 16 and was sentenced to four years in prison. As a result of that conviction, Miles was also ordered to register as sex offender for a period of 30 years.

Miles pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography on February 24, 2021. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement, Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer commended HSI for their investigation of the case.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) Alexis Solheim, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville, prosecuted the case. Ms. Solheim is a state prosecutor with the office of the 43rd Prosecutorial District and was assigned by District Attorney Ashley Welch to serve as a SAUSA with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville. Ms. Solheim is duly sworn in both state and federal courts. The SAUSA position is a reflection of the partnership between the office of the 43rd Prosecutorial District and the United States Attorney’s Office.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice, aimed at combating the growing online sexual exploitation of children.  By combining resources, federal, state and local agencies are better able to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue those victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.