Sevierville Resident Sentenced to Serve 222 Months in Prison for Child Pornography Offenses and Attempted Enticement of a Minor for Illegal Sex
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- On January 18, 2018, Michael Anthony Carpenter, 29, of Sevierville, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, Chief U.S. District Judge, to serve 222 months in prison for advertising and distributing child pornography and attempted enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. Following his release from prison, the U.S. Probation Office will supervise him for the rest of his life. He will also be required to register with the sex offender registry in any state in which he resides, works, or attends school.
Carpenter pleaded guilty in August 2017 to federal charges stemming from two separate investigations. An undercover law enforcement task force in Australia first identified Carpenter in the spring of 2016, after he posted hyperlinks to his online storage account in a chat room devoted to exchanging child pornography so others could download his cache of child pornography. Australian law enforcement officers provided information concerning his involvement to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). During a separate undercover investigation in May 2017, Carpenter contacted undercover law enforcement officers and expressed interest in paying to have sex with a child. He was arrested in Sevier County, Tennessee, when he arrived at a pre-arranged location to have sex with who he believed was a nine-year-old girl.
“Technological advances, particularly the Internet and mobile devices, have facilitated the sex trafficking of children by providing a convenient worldwide marketing channel,” said J. Douglas Overbey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. “Individuals can now use online classifieds and social media to advertise, schedule, and purchase sexual encounters with minors. This individual committed some of the most serious criminal offenses perpetrated against the most vulnerable members of our society. This sentence sends a clear message that these crimes against children will continue to be vigorously investigated and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
The local investigation was conducted by HSI and Knoxville Police Department, with assistance from the Sevierville Police Department and Sevier County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Morris represented the United States.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.