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Detroit — A modeling agency owner was charged with child pornography Tuesday in a case involving a violent Flint gang and drug-addicted child sex-trafficking victims.

Ryan Ulman, 28, of Livonia is being held without bond pending a hearing Friday in federal court.

He was arrested Monday after Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided his home and uncovered evidence Ulman possessed and received child pornography, according to federal court records.

A disheveled Ulman, dressed in red pajama pants and a Detroit Red Wings sweatshirt, made a brief Tuesday appearance in federal court. While wearing handcuffs, he blew a kiss to his crying mom and mouthed the words “I’m OK. I’m OK.”

If convicted, Ulman could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

The case dates to winter 2016 when the FBI launched an investigation involving the production of methamphetamines by a Flint gang, the Spanish Cobras, prosecutors allege.

During the investigation, agents interviewed juvenile sex-trafficking victims who were addicted to heroin and meth in Owosso, 29 miles west of Flint.

Interviews led investigators to Ulman, who operated an agency that used as models some of the juvenile sex-trafficking victims, according to the FBI.

Ulman did not appear to be involved with the child prostitution operation but he was using the modeling agency to entice underage girls to send intimate photos, according to court records.

On Monday, agents raided his home on the 18000 block of Milburn Street in Livonia and questioned Ulman.

Ulman said he was interested in child pornography and has looked at hundreds of images after searching online for pictures of “pre-teen models,” court records indicate.

“Ulman’s preference is girls 13 years old and up,” an FBI agent wrote in a court filing Tuesday. “Ulman stated that he used to print out images of child pornography, masturbate to them and destroy them, but he has not done this in ... some time.”

FBI agents found images of child erotica and at least one image of child pornography in Ulman’s basement bedroom, according to the criminal complaint.

Ulman’s modeling agency, Instinct Entertainment, worked with models age 13-50, according to the agency’s website.

The agency specialized in runway, fashion, lingerie, fully nude modeling “(18+ only) and more.”

rsnell@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2486

Twitter: @robertsnellnews

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