A Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to one count of possession of child pornography.
Brandon Scott Martz, 21, of 11240 Grouse Lane was charged with two counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. The first count of distribution of child pornography was dismissed as part of a plea agreement and the second count has been placed on the inactive docket.
Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit of Columbia, Md., began an investigation into the distribution of child pornography on Dec. 28, 2011, according to the application for statement of charges. During the investigation, authorities located a computer address on the Gnutella file-sharing network offering two files of child pornography for distribution, the document said.
The computer address led to a cable subscriber at the Grouse Lane address, where Martz was a resident, but not the subscriber, the charging document said. A search warrant was issued and executed at the residence on March 15, 2012, and authorities seized Martz’s laptop, the document said.
A forensic examination found file-sharing programs such as eMule, Frostwire, Limewire, BitTorrent, Ares and Vuse on Martz’s computer. These programs can be used to download pornography and music, Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson said after the plea hearing.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Wilson cited one video file depicting children involved in sexual acts to substantiate the possession of child pornography charge.
Defense attorney John Salvatore told Circuit Judge Dana Moylan Wright that police did not find a large number of pornographic files on Martz’s computer, “just a couple that they already knew were there.”
Martz, who has been free on bond, could face five years in prison and a $2,500 fine for possession of child pornography.
Wright ordered a psycho-sexual evaluation and a presentence investigation before Martz’s sentencing, which she scheduled for Oct. 22.