Alda Man Sentenced for Attempted Production of Child Pornography
United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that Michael Melgaard, 54, of Alda, Nebraska, was sentenced last week in Lincoln, Nebraska, by Senior United States Senior District Judge John M. Gerrard for two counts of attempted production of child pornography. Melgaard was sentenced to 240 months in prison and will also serve 10 years on supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. Melgaard was additionally ordered to pay $6,000 which will contribute to funds established for victims of these types of crimes.
This case began in January of 2022, during a separate investigation involving Melgaard. As a result of this investigation, several search warrants were received and executed for Melgaard’s home and electronic devices. Melgaard’s devices were downloaded and forensically analyzed. Approximately 14 images that met the federal definition of child pornography were located. During the investigation, Melgaard agreed to be interviewed multiple times. He admitted that he had been taking nude photographs of several minors aged 4-11. These photographs would happen while the minor victims would change their clothes, showered, or while they were asleep. He indicated that he would keep the images for a short period of time before deleting them.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, 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, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
This case was investigated by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, the Grand Island Police Department, and the Department of Homeland Security.