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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jacksonville Man Sentenced To 24 Years For Manufacturing Child Pornography

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that in federal court yesterday, United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced Melvin Dean smith, 45, of Jacksonville, North Carolina, to 290 months imprisonment, followed by  twenty years of supervised release.  The Court also ordered SMITH register as a sex offender.

smith was named in an Indictment filed on July 7, 2015.  On September 4, 2015, SMITH pled guilty to one count of Manufacturing Child Pornography.

In 2012, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Wilmington initiated an online investigation related to the distribution of child pornography through photo sharing websites. The investigation revealed a moniker that was later identified as belonging to SMITH.

On February 19, 2014, agents received information from a online foreign undercover agent who had received three images of child pornography labeled “new and homemade” from SMITH’s moniker.

On October 2, 2014, agents executed a federal search warrant at SMITH’S residence in Jacksonville.  Based on the investigation, SMITH manufactured child pornography on one occasion by producing at least 13 images of a nude 2-3 year old female while acting as her babysitter.  On Septebmer 25, 2015, SMITH provided a written statement in which he apologized and accepted responsibility for his actions related to the instant offense.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations (SBI), the Jacksonville Police Department and the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes represented the government.

 This case was 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.

Updated June 23, 2016