ATHENS, Ga. –A Madison County, Georgia, resident convicted by a federal jury of distributing and possessing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) days after GBI investigators discovered evidence that he was continuing to distribute CSAM and had concurrently cut off his ankle monitor to escape custody was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison.
Christopher Snow, 36, of Carlton, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 240 months in prison to be followed by ten years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Tilman E. Self, III today after he was convicted on June 7 of one count of distribution of child sexual abuse material and one count of possession of child sexual abuse material following a two-day trial. Snow will have to register as a sex offender upon release from federal prison. The defendant is not eligible for parole.
“Individuals participating in any part of the appalling online world of sexually abusing children—its creation, distribution or possession—will be held to account for these crimes which profoundly harm kids,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “This case, like so many others our office works, was successfully adjudicated thanks to the collaboration of many different groups and agencies focused on protecting children and bringing predators to justice.”
“This case serves as a strong reminder of our commitment to protecting children from the atrocities of child sexual abuse. The GBI remains resolute in its pursuit of justice and will not tolerate those who exploit the innocence of our most vulnerable population,” said GBI Director Chris Hosey.
“Snow not only distributed the disturbing material for years but didn’t stop even after he was under arrest and facing trial,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that people like this receive their full measure of justice.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, GBI received a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in Aug. 2018 that a Facebook user distributed suspected CSAM via Facebook Messenger. As a part of their investigation, GBI was able to determine that the user of that Facebook account resided in Carlton, Madison County, Georgia. A search warrant was executed at Snow’s residence in Carlton; law enforcement seized several electronic devices that Snow kept in a padlocked room. A digital forensic examiner later determined that those electronic devices, including the phone that was found on Snow the day of the search warrant, contained at least 45 images and 17 videos of CSAM. The material contained images of children under the age of 12.
As a condition of Snow’s pretrial release, he was required to wear an ankle monitor and not have access to electronic devices. On June 1, 2023, GBI received an additional Cybertip indicating that Snow may have been continuing to distribute CSAM on the Kik messenger app in 2022, while awaiting trial. Snow was scheduled for a federal hearing on June 2 prior to his trial but cut off his ankle monitor on June 1. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals on June 5.
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 the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the GBI, with assistance from the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex Kalim and Robert McCullers prosecuted the case for the Government with assistance from Deputy Criminal Chief Will Keyes.