If convicted, Ellis faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison and could be ordered to pay up to $250,000 in fines, according to federal law.
The Moab City Police Department and Grand County Sheriff’s Office assisted federal agents with the case.
Federal agents executed a search warrant at the home and confiscated Ellis’ computer and other items. Ellis was arrested at the camp trailer where he lived and interviewed by FBI agent Alan Connor of the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Moab City Police Det. Craig Shumway, according to court documents. During the interview, Ellis allegedly “admitted to downloading child pornography to his computer... as recently as approximately two days prior to the execution of the search warrant,” according to the court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Investigators also said that Ellis admitted to using the Internet to obtain child pornography since approximately 2010.
According to court documents, investigators found images and videos containing child pornography, including depictions of a prepubescent girl posing nude in sexually explicit poses, and images of young prepubescent females being “raped and sexually abused by adult males.”
Ellis, who is a registered sex offender, was convicted in June 2002 of sexual abuse of a child. According to Utah prison records, Ellis was released from the Utah State Prison in December 2005.
He is among 23 registered sex offenders who are currently listed by the Utah Department of Corrections as living in or near Moab.
After his arrest, Ellis was transported to Salt Lake City, for an initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Evelyn J. Fuse, according to court records. During that hearing, an attorney was appointed to represent him. He was scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dustin B. Pead on Sept. 13.