FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On August 17, a Wynne man was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison without the possibility of parole on one count of receipt of child pornography.

The Honorable Judge Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the U.S. Western District of Arkansas Federal Court in Fayetteville. According to court documents, in January 2020 Special Agents identified suspected child pornography that was being made available through a peer-to-peer file sharing program from an IP address in Fayetteville.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant on the residence associated with the IP address in February 2020. Michael Billy Whitehead, 35, was present at the residence on the day of the search warrant.

Forensic examination of the devices seized from Whitehead’s residence yielded images and videos of child sexual abuse material. Whitehead was previously convicted of receipt of child pornography in 2013 out of the Western District of Arkansas.

A Grand Jury indicted Whitehead on the most recent charge in November 2021 and he entered a plea of guilty in March. U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas made the announcement.

Homeland Security Investigations Fayetteville and the Northwest Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carly Marshall prosecuted the case.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.