Joshua M. Marsh, age 33, of Great Mills, Maryland was sentenced to 6 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for transporting child pornography in interstate commerce, by means of a computer. Judge Chasanow also ordered that Marsh register as a sex offender, forfeit the computer equipment seized at his home, and prohibited Marsh from using a computer to access the internet during his supervised release without prior approval.
According to the statement of facts presented at his guilty plea on October 31, 2005, between at least February and July of 2004, Marsh owned a personal computer that he used to participate in Internet Relay Chat (IRC). IRC is a method of communication available to Internet users through the use of special software. The communication between users is made possible by a network of computers known as servers. The special IRC software allows users to send messages to each other either in public or private forums, and also affords IRC users the ability to create direct client to client connections between two computers. Once established, this connection allows one user (the guest) to directly access and download a portion of the other users (the host) hard disk or other storage medium. The host computer is known as a file server or F-serve because it is set up to serve or transmit files to other users.
In February 2004, Marsh was living in Indianapolis, Indiana, and operated an F-serve from his personal computer using the screen name wollee. On February 24, 2004, an undercover agent with the FBI used his computer in Maryland to upload a number of dummy files to Marshs computer. In exchange, the agent was given credits to download 21 files containing child pornography from Marshs F-serve in Indianapolis. One of the files received from Marshs F-serve contained a visual depiction showing an adult male having sexual intercourse with a minor female under the age of 12 years.
In July 2004, Marsh was living in Lexington Park, Maryland, and continued to operate an F-serve from his personal computer using the same screen name of wollee. On two occasions in July, 2004, undercover agents with the FBI working in Detroit, Michigan and Buffalo, New York logged onto an IRC server group and observed a person using the nickname wollee who was advertising F-serve access to his computer system. The undercover agents then used their computers to obtain access to the defendants F-serve in Maryland and download video files containing child pornography.
On October 22, 2004, the FBI executed a search warrant at Marshs residence in Lexington Park and seized his computer which contained more than 1,000 files containing child pornography. During an interview conducted that day, Marsh acknowledged the presence of files containing child pornography on his computer, and admitted that he used his computer as an F-serve when he was living in Indianapolis, and also while living in Maryland.