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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Church Custodian Arraigned on Child Pornography Charges

NEWNAN, Ga. - Emmett Winston Smith, a/k/a Everett Smith, a former facilities assistant and Sunday school teacher at a church in Newnan, Georgia, has been arraigned on federal charges of distributing, receiving, and possessing child pornography. Smith was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 24, 2015.

“Smith allegedly traded images and videos of child pornography with others, and went into Internet chat rooms looking to make contact with others who shared his same interests,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “This case, which began with a lead from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, illustrates our strong partnership with international law enforcement to combat child pornography and to identify and prosecute those who trade images of the sexual abuse of children.”

“The child pornography discovered during this investigation shows the abuse of numerous innocent children who are re-victimized each time images of their sexual exploitation are traded,” said Acting HSI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Ryan Spradlin. “HSI Special Agents are actively working to disrupt the trade of these illegal images, and will continue to coordinate with our foreign and domestic law enforcement partners to identify and seek prosecution of criminals who possess them.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: In 2014, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated a person on allegations that he traded in child pornography. That investigation revealed that the Canadian subject had traded more than 200 e-mails containing child pornography with a person using an e-mail address that eventually led back to a house in Newnan, Georgia. Canadian law enforcement passed this information on to Special Agents of the Department of Homeland Security, who continued the investigation.

Homeland Security Investigations agents identified Emmett Winston Smith as the person trading e-mails with attachments of child pornography. They obtained a federal search warrant for Smith’s house in Newnan and executed it on March 5, 2015, where they found child pornography on three computers at the house. Smith was arrested that same day.

At the time of his arrest, Smith was working as a custodian at a large church in downtown Newnan that had a pre-school attached to it. He was also a Sunday school teacher at that same church.

Smith, 66, of Newnan, Georgia, was arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gerrilyn G. Brill. He was indicted on March 24, 2015.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul R. Jones is prosecuting the case.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Newnan Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.

Updated April 16, 2015