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Denver man indicted for distribution and possession of child pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2012

DENVER – Walden Allen Schmidt, age 45, of Denver, Colorado, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on April 9, 2012, charged with one count of distribution of child pornography and three counts of possession of child pornography, United States Attorney John Walsh and FBI Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge James Yacone announced. On April 30, 2012, Schmidt made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Denver. He was advised of the charges pending against him, and the penalties associated with those charges. On May 3, 2012, Schmidt again appeared in court for arraignment and a detention hearing. Schmidt entered a not guilty plea, and was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond with conditions of electronic monitoring.

According to the indictment, on May 1, 2009 Schmidt knowingly distributed and attempted to distribute child pornography by any means, including a computer. On November 17, 2009, Schmidt allegedly knowingly possessed child pornography on his desktop computer and on two USB memory devices.

In addition to the charges, Schmidt faces an asset forfeiture allegation. Upon conviction of any of the violations alleged, Schmidt shall forfeit to the United States any and all of his right to a) any visual depiction of child pornography; b) any property, real or personal, constituting or traceable to gross profits or other proceeds obtained from such offense; and c) any property, real or personal, used or intended to be used to commit or to promote the commission of such an offense or any property traceable to such property. In this case, the property includes the desktop computer, an Apple laptop computer, and the two USB memory devices.

If convicted of distribution of child pornography, Schmidt faces not less than 5 years, and not more than 20 year imprisonment, and a fine of up to $250,000. If the defendant has a prior conviction for similar conduct, then he would face not less than 15 years, and not more than 40 years imprisonment. If convicted of possession of child pornography, Schmidt faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine per count for each of the three counts. If the defendant has a prior conviction for similar conduct, then he would face not less than 10 years, and not more than 20 years imprisonment.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Innocent Images Task Force. The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Bergsieker.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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 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 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 .

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