Jacksonville Man Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 24, 2014|
JACKSONVILLE—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Sean-Michael Smith (25, Jacksonville) today pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography. Smith faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years, up to 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Smith was indicted on August 8, 2013.
According to court records, on July 3, 2013, a St. Johns County detective was actively investigating computer users who were distributing child pornography via a peer-to-peer file sharing network over the Internet. On that same date, the detective was able to successfully download three videos depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct from an Internet protocol (IP) address registered to Sean-Michael Smith. Based on this information, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) obtained a search warrant for Smith’s residence. When the warrant was executed on August 2, 2013, Smith admitted to previously downloading and viewing child pornography, including one of the videos downloaded by the detective on July 3, 2013. Smith also stated that he had been viewing child pornography for 10 years and admitted that whenever the file sharing program on his computer was active, any content in the shared folder would be available for downloading by other users on the file sharing network.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diidri W. Robinson.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov and click on the tab “Other Resources.”