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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BETH PHILLIPS


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov../index.html


FEBRUARY 8, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


PLATTE CITY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO

RECEIVING CHILD PORN


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Platte City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to receiving child pornography over the Internet.


            Samuel T. Smith, 22, of Platte City, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple this afternoon to a federal information that charges him with receiving child pornography. Smith remains in federal custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.


            Smith admitted that he used his credit card to subscribe to the child pornography Web sites Pedo Heaven and Dreamzone, from which he downloaded numerous videos of child pornography.


            As part of an investigation into a subscription child pornography Web site called Pedo Heaven, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement obtained a search warrant for the server where one of the child pornography Web sites was hosted. The search of the server revealed images and videos of child pornography along with log files containing data regarding individuals who accessed the site. Agents were able to determine which specific images were accessed by the subscribers and at what date and time the images were accessed.


            On April 5, 2008, Smith’s credit card was processed for $79.99 and he was granted access to the Pedo Heaven site. The server’s log files revealed that numerous videos of child pornography were accessed by Smith. When ICE agents executed a search warrant at Smith’s residence, they seized a computer that contained images and videos of child pornography as well as 12 pages of child pornography images that Smith said he printed from his computer.


            An examination of Smith’s computer revealed that he had accessed at least 600 child pornography images and several child pornography movies, including images of minors younger than 12 years old. Investigators found evidence that Smith also purchased a 30-day subscription to Dreamzone for $99.


            By pleading guilty today, Smith also agreed to forfeit an Emachine computer that was used to commit the offense.


            Under federal statutes, Smith is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


Project Safe Childhood

            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.


            This case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

http://www.justice.gov../index.html