Robert Shane Wilkins Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on April 14, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, ROBERT SHANE WILKINS, a 33-year-old resident of Birmingham, Alabama, pled guilty to conspiracy to sexually exploit children, sexual exploitation of children, conspiracy to distribute child pornography, and distribution of child pornography. Sentencing has been set for July 27, 2011. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On December 6, 2010, law enforcement in Helena received a phone call from a mother concerned about her ten-year-old son's computer activity. She reported that, unbeknownst to her, the child had created a YouTube account used to socialize with others via the Internet. Law enforcement received permission to take over the child's account and found that a user "funandfreaky 7", distributed numerous videos to the child that were child pornography, ie, children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. "Funandfreaky 7" pretended to be a preteen girl sending videos of "herself" and asked the boy to do the same. The movies sent to the boy were of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct and they were sent via computer and the Internet.
Funandfreaky 7" asked the Helena child to produce images of himself engaged in sexually explicit conduct and continued to distribute videos of the same to him over several days from December 3 through 6, 2010.
When interviewed, the child reported that he had received a 'friend' request from "funandfreaky 7" asking to be friends and sending him a video of a preteen girl shown with her pants down exposing her vagina. The child made several videos of himself pulling up his shirt and pulling down his pants at "funandfreaky 7's" request. "Funandfreaky 7" pretended to be a female preteen and the two conversed for a period of time. The child admitted making sexually explicit videos of himself and sending them to "funandfreaky 7".
Law enforcement was able to identify "funandfreaky 7" as a pair of adult men, WILKENS and another male individual from Georgia, not eleven-year-old girls. Both men accessed the "funandfreaky 7" account while the child pornography was distributed and who used the child in Helena to produce child pornography images. Search warrants were served on each residence on the morning of December 16, 2010.
WILKENS was interviewed and confessed to being "mrslyfan98" and that he communicated with the other man on the "funandfreaky 7" account. WILKENS also admitted to asking for videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He further admitted distributing child pornography via the account by uploading those videos to the account to be distributed to kids. He stated that he conspired with the other man to have children self-produce sexually explicit videos. Numerous items of computer equipment were seized, including computers that WILKENS admitted would contain child pornography videos, including those of the Helena child whom he recognized.
WILKENS and the other individual used the Internet and computers to sexually exploit the Helena child by using him to produce child pornography videos and by distributing child pornography videos to him.
WILKINS faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and could be sentenced to 30 years, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision .
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Helena Police Department, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.