Syracuse Woman Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Charges
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Emily Oberst, 24, of Syracuse, New York pled guilty today in federal court to one count of conspiracy to sexually exploit children and 11 counts of child exploitation, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and FBI Special Agent in Charge Vadim Thomas of the FBI Albany Division. The proposed plea agreement calls for her to serve a jail term of 60 years, followed by a life term of supervised release after her release from custody. The agreement includes a provision giving up her right to appeal the case. The guilty plea today will also require her to register as a sex offender.
The investigation leading to the guilty plea today began on March 4, 2016 when a Task Force Officer assigned to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department-Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force (Washington Field Office), acting in an undercover capacity, began texting with Oberst’s Co-defendant Jason Kopp. In texts between the two, Kopp told the undercover officer that he had pictures of a female infant that were sent to him by a woman acquaintance, later identified as Emily Oberst, and distributed images of the infant to the officer. FBI Special Agents, assisted by the New York State Police, arrested Jason Kopp in Liverpool, New York on March 18, 2016. Subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Emily Oberst and established that she took sexually explicit visual images of two children that she later sent to Jason Kopp. One of the children was an infant female, and the other a four-year old girl.
Kopp previously pled guilty to a 28 count indictment charging conspiracy to sexually exploit children, child sexual exploitation, and other child pornography offenses. On September 13, 2016, he was sentenced to serve 235 years in prison. Emily Oberst is scheduled to be sentenced on August 18, 2017.
This case was investigated by the Albany Division of the FBI (Syracuse Resident Agency), the New York State Police and the Metropolitan Police Department-Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force (Washington Field Office), and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa Fletcher and Robert Levine.
Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.