URBANA — A St. Joseph man is due back in federal court later this month after being criminally charged with possessing and distributing child pornography.
Nathan A. Ingold, 37, is being held in the Macon County Jail in Decatur following his appearance June 5 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric Long in Urbana.
After reading Ingold the charges, Long ordered that he be detained. Long appointed a public defender for Ingold, who asked for a probable-cause hearing. It is set for June 21 at the federal courthouse in Urbana.
Long was arrested the same day as his initial court appearance, which came two days after a court-authorized search of his home in the 400 block of West Grand Avenue.
Court records show that Ingold had been under investigation since February by a local officer trained in computer-based investigations who is a member of the East Central Illinois Cyber Crimes Working Group as well as the Illinois Attorney General's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Urbana police Sgt. Tim McNaught was led to Ingold's alleged possession and distribution of child pornography through software that police use to zero in on IP addresses that use "peer-to-peer file sharing."
Since such peer-to-peer files are shared around the world, the sharing is considered interstate commerce, and therefore in the jurisdiction of federal authorities.
In an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint against Ingold, McNaught said he found on a particular IP address, which was later linked to Ingold, at least four images of toddlers and young children engaged in sexually explicit acts.
That prompted Long to issue the search warrant for Ingold's home.
The affidavit said that Ingold was present June 5 when Homeland Security agents searched and that he admitted that any child pornography in the home was his. He also informed authorities that he primarily downloaded the images on an older smartphone.
"Ingold explained that he started viewing child pornography when he was in his 20s, but stopped at times. In the last few years, Ingold started seeking child-pornography images again," the affidavit said. He "claimed his preference was for female children between the ages of 8 to 12 years old. ... Ingold further admitted that he knew he was likely on law enforcement's radar because of the high volume of material he trafficked through the peer-to-peer network."