Skip to main content
Press Release

Northampton Man Charged with Child Exploitation Offense

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

BOSTON – A Northampton man was charged yesterday in U.S. District Court in Springfield with offering to distribute child pornography.

James J. Smith, 37, was charged in a complaint with one count of offering to distribute material involving the sexual exploitation of children.  During an initial appearance in court yesterday, Smith was detained pending a detention hearing on April 12, 2016.

According to the complaint, on Jan. 8, 2015, a search warrant executed at Smith’s residence recovered a cell phone containing a storage card.  After waiving his Miranda rights, Smith unlocked the phone and law enforcement officers found approximately 110 images of child pornography, including images of an eight-year-old girl.  The phone also contained e-mail addresses and Craigslist correspondence concerning children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Law enforcement officers recovered e-mails in which Smith offered to distribute, and did distribute, child pornography involving children aged 10 and younger as well as e-mails in which Smith offered to receive, and did receive, child pornography.  Smith also sent messages in which he expressed a sexual interest in a16-year-old girl.

The charging statute provides for a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years and no greater than 30 years in prison, up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper; and Easthampton Police Chief Bruce McMahon, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Ortiz's Springfield Branch Office.

Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information related to this case, or any information relating to the sexual exploitation of children, should call (617) 748-3274.

Updated April 11, 2016

Project Safe Childhood