DOJ-USA Seal
U.S. Department of Justice


United States Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña
Northern District of Texas

 

 

 
 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA INQUIRIES: KATHY COLVIN

THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2012
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txn/

 

 


 

 

WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSE

Defendant Admits Sending and Receiving Text Messages
That Included Photos of Child Pornography

DALLAS — Amber Schmidt, 24, of Garland, Texas, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez to one count of transporting and shipping child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Schmidt, who remains in custody, faces a statutory sentence of not less than five years or more than 20 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine and lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for April 6, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn.

According to documents filed in the case, Schmidt used cell phones and text messaging to send images of child pornography to others. One of the individuals to whom she sent child pornography was Gary Lee Jackson, 26, also of Garland. He pleaded guilty in mid-December to one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography, stating that he had received numerous images of child pornography on his cell phone from Schmidt. Schmidt admitted that she sent the child pornography to Jackson because she knew he “was into that.” Schmidt also admitted that she sent child pornography to other people because in order to receive child pornography, you had to send child pornography as well.

Schmidt further admitted that she possessed images of child pornography that included bondage and other sadistic acts involving minors. Subpoenaed cell phone records contained chat logs of Schmidt chatting with not only Gary Lee Jackson, but others with whom she was trading child pornography. In these chat, Schmidt discussed her desire to receive images of young children engaged in sexual behavior and when she received them, she would acknowledge how sexually aroused she was by the images.

These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. 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

The investigation is being conducted by the Dallas Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Garland Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.

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