Federal Jury Convicts Tahlequah Resident Of Multiple Counts Of Aggravated Sexual Abuse And Exploitation Of Children In Indian Country
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Oklahoma
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that Leiloni Blake Smith, age 30, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma was found guilty by a federal jury of eight counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child in Indian Country; two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child; and one count of Possession of Certain Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
The jury trial began on Monday, March 20, 2023, and concluded on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, with the guilty verdicts.
During the trial, the United States presented evidence that an investigation began in 2020 based on CyberTips received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Those CyberTips indicated that an individual in the Tahlequah area was uploading child sexual abuse materials through an online provider. Gregory Neil Bias was identified, located, and arrested in January of 2022 for those offenses. During the investigation, electronic devices including the cell phones of Smith and Bias were seized and examined. Investigators discovered videos depicting the aggravated sexual abuse of two children.
The guilty verdicts were the result of an investigation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations.
This case was 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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma prosecuted the case because the defendants in this case are members of a federally recognized Indian tribe and the crimes occurred in Cherokee County, within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation Reservation and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Muskogee, presided over the trial of Smith and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled following completion of the report. Smith was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending the imposition of sentencing.
The co-defendant in this case, Gregory Neil Bias, age 39, entered pleas of guilty on January 18, 2023 to nine counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child in Indian Country; two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child; two counts of Possession of Certain Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor; one count of Receipt of Certain Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor; one count of Distribution of Certain Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor; and one count of Felon in Possession of Firearm. Completion of a presentence report was previously ordered for Bias and he is in the custody of the United States Marshal pending the imposition of sentencing.
Assistant United States Attorneys Edith Singer and Kyra Jenner represented the United States.
Updated June 7, 2023
Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice