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Press Release

Quincy Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Receipt of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane – On October 11, 2023, U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Joseph Thomas Schmitz, 35, of Quincy, Washington, to 120 months in federal prison for Receipt of Child Pornography. Schmitz pleaded guilty on May 11, 2023.  Judge Rice also ordered Schmitz to pay $6,000 in restitution to two of his victims and special assessments totaling $7,000 to funds benefitting victims of human trafficking and child pornography crime.  Judge Rice further ordered that Schmitz be federally supervised for 10 years after being released from prison. 

According to court documents and proceedings, Schmitz was identified as a suspect in May 2021 after his wife called the police and reported finding nude photos of an approximately 11 years old female in a hidden folder on Schmitz’s iPad.  Pursuant to search warrants, federal agents searched Schmitz’s electronic devices and iCloud account and found child pornography files linked to 25 previously identified child pornography victims, in addition to more images and videos of the 11-year-old girl.  Agents additionally found evidence of Schmitz using the Kik application back to November 2019, frequenting groups dedicated to the viewing and sharing of child sexual abuse and sharing links with others within these groups.

“The sentence imposed in this case recognizes the ongoing and lasting harm caused by child exploitation. It sends a strong message to Mr. Schmitz and others who use what they believe to be online anonymity to exploit the most vulnerable among us,” said United States Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref. “My office prioritizes these offenses against our community’s youngest and most vulnerable and will continue to prosecute those who harm children.

This sentencing is yet another example of the impact federal and state law enforcement partnerships bring to the safety of our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “The success of this case lied in the vigilance of family members and our joint efforts to end further victimization.”

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Quincy Police Department and prosecuted by Ann T. Wick, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. 


Updated October 18, 2023

Project Safe Childhood