News and Press Releases

Smithboro Man Sentenced to 498 Months for Production and Possession of Child Pornography

February 24, 2012

Darrell L. Stewart, Jr., 42, of Smithboro, IL, received a forty year sentence following his plea of guilty to three counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Upon release from imprisonment, Stewart will be on supervised release for the remainder of his life, will be subject to a search condition, and will be required to register as a sex offender. Stewart was also ordered to pay a $400 fine, a $400 special assessment and restitution in the amount of $2,000.

“Darrell Stewart is every parent’s nightmare and every child’s ‘monster in the closet.’ As a result of this investigation and prosecution he won’t be able to harm a child for at least 41 and one half years. Even if he does live to see the end of his prison term, he will be on supervised release and closely monitored for the rest of his life,” said United States Attorney Wigginton. “Our office has aggressively pursued those persons who target children for their depraved desires. In the last year alone we have successfully prosecuted six defendants who engaged in the production of child pornography and they received sentences ranging from a low of thirty years to a high of fifty years in prison. And, we will never cease our efforts to protect our children,” added United States Attorney Wigginton.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation began its investigation when an agent conducted an undercover investigation on a peer to peer file sharing network and discovered that Stewart was distributing child pornography. The FBI executed a search warrant at Stewart’s home and seized a large quantity of electronic equipment. Forensic examination revealed 1,181 child pornography videos, 1,697 still images of child pornography, and 17 pairs of boys underwear in sizes as small as 3T. Stewart had produced some of the child pornography, including a movie which depicted him having sex with a minor. Stewart has been in custody since July 6, 2011. In interviews with the FBI, Stewart admitted to having a sexual interest in children dating back to the 1990s.

At the time of the commission of the child pornography offenses, Stewart was serving a federal term of supervised release following a conviction for Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine. Following a finding that he had violated the terms of supervised release for possessing, transporting, distributing, and producing child pornography, Stewart was ordered to serve an additional 18 month term of imprisonment, resulting in a total sentence of 498 months.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Vienna Police Department and Illinois Secretary of State Police, both of which agencies have dedicated officers to the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force. This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, in which the United States Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with federal and state law enforcement authorities, is actively investigating and prosecuting individuals who are involved in the exploitation of children. The case was prosecuted by United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton and Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne M. Garrison.



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