Federal Jury Finds White Earth Man Guilty of Production of Child Pornography on the Red Lake Reservation
MINNEAPOLIS – A Michigan man has been sentenced to 70 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release, required to pay restitution to the victim, and ordered to pay $5,000 to the Domestic Victim Trafficking Fund for interstate travel with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to his plea agreement, in late 2022, Maxwell Winston Beardsley, 22, met a young teenager on Omegle, a free online chat website that does not require user registration. Although the minor immediately identified as such, Beardsley lied and said he was 16 years old and then proceeded to pursue a romantic relationship with the minor victim. Over the course of several months, Beardsley exchanged sexually explicit materials with the minor victim and engaged in sexually explicit conversations. On January 27, 2023, Beardsley drove from Michigan to Minnesota for the express purpose of meeting the minor victim to engage in sex.
On July 19, 2023, Beardsley pleaded guilty to one count of interstate travel with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor. He was sentenced in U.S. District Court by Judge Nancy E. Brasel on December 11, 2023.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Lakeville Police Department in Minnesota, and the Oakland County Sheriff's Office in Michigan. It 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. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.justice.gov/psc.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan L. Sing prosecuted the case.