St. Johns Man Sentenced to Six Years for Distribution of Child Pornography
JACKSONVILLE, FL—U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard yesterday sentenced Sean-Michael Smith (25, St. Johns) to 72 months in federal prison for distribution of child pornography, to be followed by a seven year term of supervised release. Smith, who was also ordered to register as a Sex Offender, pleaded guilty on February 24, 2014.
According to court records, on July 3, 2013, a detective from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office was actively investigating computer users who were distributing child pornography via a peer-to-peer file sharing network. On that date, the detective was able to successfully download three videos depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct from an IP address registered to Smith. Based on this information, the Federal Bureau of Investigation 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. Smith stated, among other things, that he had been viewing child pornography for ten years, and admitted that whenever the file sharing program on his computer was active, any downloaded content in the shared folder would be available for other users on the file sharing network to download.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diidri W. Robinson.
It is another case 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.