News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - December 3, 2008

MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASE

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on December 1, 2008, JONATHAN THOMAS SMITH, pled guilty before United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, to receipt of child pornography.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on May 22, 2008. In early 2006, SMITH was on a lunch break from his work at a Cary area business when his manager noticed that the company computer network was unusually slow. The manager began to troubleshoot the problem and came upon SMITH’s personal laptop computer, which was connected to the network. Looking at the laptop he saw that it was in the process of downloading files with names clearly indicative of child pornography. The manager disconnected the computer from the network and fired SMITH immediately upon his return from lunch. The next day, the manager reported the incident to police. Cary Police went to SMITH’s residence to speak with him in response to the report. SMITH admitted to police that he had a peer-to-peer file sharing program, to download child pornography over the Internet. SMITH consented to turning over the laptop and having it searched. Forensic examination of the computer confirmed the presence of a substantial collection of child pornography, in excess of 600 images, including images of prepubescent children. The images included children known as identified victims by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and included images that traveled in interstate commerce.

Because the investigation of this matter and the identification of any victims is ongoing, members of the public who may have information that may be relevant to SMITH’s case are urged to contact the Cary Police Department at 919-469-4017.

Mr Holding commented, “This case is an all too common example of the rampant nature of child pornography. We applaud the quick action of thr employer in this case. Only if we remain vigilant and show no tolerance for this type of crime can we expect to end it.”

This case is part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Wake City-County Bureau of Investigation and the Cary Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jay Exum served as prosecutor for the government with the assistance and cooperation of the office of the Wake County District Attorney.

 

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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