29-year-old Melbourne man pleads guilty to machine gun, child porn charges

A 29-year-old man who was arrested in February has pled guilty to possession of machine guns, silencers, short-barreled rifles, and child pornography.

Nathan Joel Arledge pled guilty in federal court this week to possession of two machine guns, an unregistered short-barrel rifle, three unregistered silencers, and child sexual abuse material, according to court records.

An investigation into Arledge’s activity was initiated after law enforcement received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that matched Arledge’s Internet Protocol (IP) address.

During the investigation, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Arledge’s residence, located in the 3500 block of D’Avinci Way in Melbourne, and found a collection of firearms, ammunition, silencers, flash bangs, potassium nitrate, magnesium flakes, gun powder, tactical clothing, body armor, law enforcement insignia, and counterfeit credentials for Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

During a forensic examination of Arledge’s electronic devices, authorities discovered multiple files that featured depictions of young children performing sexual acts. During an interview with law enforcement, Arledge admitted that he had made the machine guns and silencers, and that he had downloaded the child sexual abuse material, despite knowing his activities were illegal.

Arledge faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison for the firearms offenses, and up to 20 years imprisonment for possession of child sexual abuse materials. A sentencing date has not been set, according to court records.

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