Ellicott City, Cambridge men plead guilty to child porn charges

Two men admit wrongdoing in separate cases

March 17, 2011|By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun

A 24-year-old Ellicott City man pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing more than 600 images and videos depicting child pornography and "sadistic and violent conduct," according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office.

In a separate case, a 28-year-old man from the Eastern Shore who had been convicted in 2002 of sexually abusing a minor pleaded guilty Thursday to engaging in sexual conduct with two 15-year-old girls and photographing them.

In the Howard County case, prosecutors said Jeffrey Trantham admitted in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to sexually exploiting a child to produce child pornography and possessing child pornography. Authorities said their investigation began when a Canadian resident received images of the suspect abusing a child under the age of 8.

Howard County Police searched Trantham's house in Ellicott City in 2009 and found more than 600 pornographic images involving children stored on his computer, prosecutors said. They also said that he sent sexually explicit images of a girl to at least three people over the Internet, and one "via a live broadcast through a web camera."

Trantham faces 15 to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced in May.

The Cambridge man was identified as Shane Stoner. Prosecutors said he pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of child pornography. In 2002, he was convicted in Dorchester County Circuit Court of a fourth-degree sex offense related to a minor. He was sentenced to one year in prison, with all but nine months suspended.

Prosecutors said Stoner now faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in June. Prosecutors said that between October 2009 and January 2010, Stoner took nude photographs of a 15-year-old girl and engaged in sexual conduct with another 15-year-old girl.

Stoner was convicted of sexual child abuse charges in state court and is serving a 15 year prison sentence. The federal charges relate only to his possession of child pornography.

peter.hermann@baltsun.com

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