News and Press Releases


May 5, 2010

Spokane – Today, James A. McDevitt, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Timothy Jonathan Schmekel, age 36, of Twisp, Washington was sentenced for receiving child pornography over the Internet.

The investigation started when the Twisp Police Department received a complaint that Timothy Schmekel, who was married with three children, was possessing child pornography. In April 2008, a search warrant was executed at Timothy Schmekel’s home in Twisp, Washington. Several computers and computer storage devices were seized. Forensic examination revealed 519 images of child pornography contained in those devices. In August 2008, Timothy Schmekel was indicted for receiving that child pornography over the Internet. Timothy Schmekel was found guilty by a jury after a three day jury trial held in Spokane in September 2009.

Timothy Jonathan Schmekel was ordered to serve 68 months in prison, followed by 5 years of court supervision after he is released from prison. Timothy Schmekel will be required to register as a sex offender for his lifetime.

James A. McDevitt, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said, “The most vulnerable members of our society deserve the highest protection we can afford. Sadly, there are those like Mr. Schmekel in our society that must be locked up to protect our children.”

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit The Project Safe Childhood (PSC) Initiative has five major components:

  • Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue child victims
  • Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives
  • Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases
  • Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents
  • Community awareness and educational programs
  • To report these crimes, visit or call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s hotline at 1-800-843-5678.

This investigation was conducted by the Twisp Police Department, the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This case was prosecuted by Stephanie Lister, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.


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