RENO — A Reno man is in federal custody for receipt and possession of child pornography after making his initial court appearance announced Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse for the FBI.

According to court documents, beginning on or about April 24, 2018, Ryan Thomas Eley, 24, received and possessed USB flash drives, an external hard drive, and a cell phone that contained images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Some of these images were of prepubescent minors and minors under twelve years of age.

A federal grand jury had returned an indictment charging Eley with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Eley made his initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb, who scheduled a jury trial to start on June 21, 2021 before Chief U.S. District Judge Miranda M. Du.

If convicted, Eley faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison.

An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the FBI, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Sparks Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph J. St. Clair is prosecuting the case.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

 Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood and for information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.