MINNEAPOLIS – A Plymouth man was sentenced to 228 months in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for advertising, producing, and distributing material depicting the sexual abuse of children. Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Nancy E. Brasel sentenced the defendant.
According to court documents, between November 2019 and March 2021, Derek Gerard Williams, 23, used various online accounts and aliases to advertise, produce, distribute, and obtain child pornography and other data related to the sexual exploitation of children. Williams used Instagram and other online platforms to communicate with and exploit minors in the United States and abroad. Williams also used a virtual private network (VPN) or proxy services and coded language referring to child exploitation and bestiality, to attempt to avoid detection by law enforcement.
On August 16, 2021, Williams pleaded guilty to one count of advertising child pornography, one count of production of child pornography, and one count of distribution of child pornography.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Miranda E. Dugi.