from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Ohio at Cleveland. No.
1:17-cr-00432-1-Christopher A. Boyko, District Judge.
Christian J. Grostic, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Cleveland,
Ohio, for Appellant.
Michael A. Sullivan, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE,
Cleveland, Ohio, for Appellee.
Before: COLE, Chief Judge; STRANCH and READLER, Circuit
A. READLER, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Wesley Muchow pled guilty to one count of receiving and
distributing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually
explicit conduct. After weighing the parties' respective
arguments at the sentencing hearing, the district court
sentenced Muchow at the very bottom of the proposed United
States Sentencing Guidelines range. We reject Muchow's
position that his sentence is substantively unreasonable and
AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.
respects, Wesley Muchow lived a life one could be proud of,
and certainly not one that would catch the eye of federal
prosecutors. He graduated from high school, was gainfully
employed as a machine operator, and made a home in Bucyrus, a
north central Ohio community located along the historic
Lincoln Highway. Muchow had a close bond with his family,
relying on their support during challenging times. And until
this federal prosecution, his known criminal record reflected
only a decades-old state-law misdemeanor for driving under
Muchow's life had a dark chapter, one revealed in 2017
when FBI agents executed a search warrant at his home. There,
agents discovered 3, 616 images of minors engaged in sexually
explicit conduct, all stored on electronic devices, as well
as 61 videos reflecting similarly explicit conduct.
misconduct was not an isolated incident. The volume of child
pornography discovered in his home alone suggested as much.
So too did the FBI's investigation. The search warrant
was based upon findings from the prior November and December,
when an undercover FBI agent used peer-to-peer file sharing
programs to download remotely child pornography- both
pictures and videos-from Muchow's computer. The search
revealed over 30 files of child pornography. Muchow would
later admit to "searching and downloading" child
pornography for at least "the past ten years."
months that followed the search, Muchow sought to reform his
ways. As a first step, Muchow provided a signed statement to
law enforcement officers admitting he had viewed child
pornography. Later, he attended counseling sessions to seek
treatment for his addiction. On top of that, he engaged in
church, family, and work activities, and refrained from
viewing illegal pornographic images.
was indicted in October 2017 on one count of receiving and
distributing depictions of minors engaged in sexually
explicit conduct, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2252(a)(2), and one count of possessing child pornography, 18
U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B), including at least one image of
a prepubescent minor or a minor under the age of 12.
Ultimately, Muchow pled guilty to Count 1, and the government
dismissed Count 2.
case moved ahead to sentencing. Neither party objected to the
Presentence Report. The Guidelines range for Muchow's
offense was calculated as 135 to 168 months in prison. Muchow
argued for a 60-month sentence, the mandatory minimum. He
based his request on his lack of criminal history, his
educational and work history, and his cooperation with law
enforcement. The government, on the other hand, argued for a
sentence within the Guidelines range. Ultimately, the
district court sentenced Muchow to 135 months, the very
bottom end of the Guidelines range, with an additional five
years of supervised release.