Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced that Samuel Franklin Crews (32, Lake City) today pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography over the Internet. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years, up to 20 years, in federal prison, and a potential life term of supervised release. Crews was arrested on December 31, 2013, in Lake City and has been in federal custody since that time. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
According to court documents, an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Jacksonville began an undercover investigation to identify individuals in that area who had access to and/or were trading images and videos depicting child pornography over the Internet. The agent determined that a computer in the Lake City area was hosting images of child pornography using a peer-to-peer file sharing program and was able to download several videos depicting child pornography from this computer. Information from the Internet service provider traced the subscriber information to Crews’s Lake City residence.
On June 5, 2013, law enforcement executed a federal search warrant at Crews=s residence and seized his computer. Crews told the agents, among other things, that he had come across child pornography using a file sharing program on the Internet and became “curious,” searched for and downloaded more child pornography using certain search terms, and knew that viewing such material is harmful to children. A subsequent analysis of Crews’s computer revealed that it contained 124 images and 10 videos depicting the sexual abuse of minor children.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case 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 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.