Florida Man Sentenced to 196 Months in Prison on Child Pornography Charges
Unregistered Sex Offender Previously Entered a Guilty Plea
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 11, 2011|
BRYSON CITY, NC—Crawford Grimsley, 54, of Inglis, Fla., was sentenced on October 6, 2011, by U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger to serve 196 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Grimsley was also placed on a lifetime of supervised release, and was ordered to register as a sex offender.
Joining U.S. Attorney Tompkins in making today’s announcement were Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Sheriff Robert L. Holland of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.
On September 21, 2010, a criminal bill of indictment charged Grimsley with one count of possession of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Grimsley pled guilty to the charge on January 19, 2011. According to filed court documents and court proceedings, during the investigation authorities seized from Grimsley a computer hard drive, numerous CDs, and several flash drives that contained 141 videos and over 3,000 images of child pornography. Court records indicate that Grimsley’s child pornography collection contained images of prepubescent children (including children as young as 5 years old), and violent images and videos depicting children being sexually abused. Grimsley also held two separate previous felony convictions for sexual contact offenses upon minors, which required him to register as a sex offender in North Carolina upon his entry into the state in 2009, but Grimsley had failed to do so. Because of his prior felony convictions, Grimsley’s sentence was enhanced to a mandatory minimum of 10 years.
“The Internet has escalated the problem of child pornography by increasing the amount of material available, the efficiency of its distribution and the ease of its accessibility. Combating the distribution of child pornography and protecting our children from sexual exploitation requires coordinated response strategies that combine all available federal, state and local resources,” stated U.S. Attorney Tompkins.
“Grimsley’s sentence should send a clear message to the people who prey on children that you cannot escape justice by moving to a different state. The FBI partners with many law enforcement agencies to track down these predators and will stop at nothing to protect our children,” said Special Agent in Charge Briese.
“I am proud of the professional work done by Detectives from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office who initiated this investigation based on information provided by a citizen,” said Sheriff Holland. “I would like to thank the District Attorney’s Office for the assistance they provided during our initial investigation and the subsequent work they did with the federal agencies on this case. Finally, I sincerely thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the work they did in completing this investigation and prosecuting this case in federal court.”
Grimsley has been in local federal custody in the Western District of North Carolina since October 14, 2010. Upon designation of a federal facility, he will be transferred into custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The investigation was led by the FBI with the assistance of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Cortney S. Escaravage of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte and David Thorneloe of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville. 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 the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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.projectsafechildhood.gov.