Bellefontaine Examiner

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Close enters guilty plea

As expected, Mickell Close, 31, of Quincy, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to one count of using minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the conduct.

Close Mickell

CLOSE

He faces between 21 and 26 1/2 years in prison.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped five other child pornography charges.

He will face 20 years of supervision after his release and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Cameron Bryant, a Homeland Security Investigations special agent, said in court that investigators found numerous images of young girls in sexually explicit activity or bondage when they searched computers and media storage at the defendant’s home after seizing the items Nov. 9.

The Quincy man has been in custody ever since.

An HSI investigation identified an email account connected to a file-sharing child pornography Web site and the account was traced to the defendant.

Prosecutors also say the suspect used his cell phone to secretly record videos of three prepubescent female victims at his residence while the victims were using the bathroom or bathing.

After recording the videos, he made still images including close-up images from the videos and traded the videos and images with other individuals on the Internet in exchange for images and videos of child pornography.

The prosecution did not reveal the relationship between the defendant and his victims.

Deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office assisted federal agents with the search warrant.

U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus has yet to set a sentencing date.

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