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Press Release

Broken Arrow Man Sentenced for Attempted Receipt of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Oklahoma
Defendant Apprehended as Part of FBI-led Operation Independence Day

A Broken Arrow man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to just over seven years in prison for the attempted receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

Chief U.S. District Judge John E. Dowdell sentenced Carl Thomas Spaeth, 35, to 87 months in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Spaeth will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

“Carl Spaeth knowingly engaged in sexually graphic communications and requested child pornography from someone he thought to be a 14-year-old girl. He even arranged an in-person meeting with the purported child,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Rather than finding a teenage girl at the meet spot, Spaeth found himself face-to-face with law enforcement agents from the FBI and Tulsa Police Department. I am so thankful for the work of law enforcement to keep children safe from predators like Mr. Spaeth.”

Spaeth pleaded guilty on Sept. 5. In his plea agreement, Spaeth admitted that between July 5 and July 10, 2019, he used a cell phone app to talk with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. In actuality, he was communicating with a law enforcement officer. During the course of the conversation, Spaeth described sexual acts he wanted to engage in with the “girl.” He further asked for explicit pictures and sent sexually explicit pictures of himself via the app.

This prosecution is the result of Operation Independence Day, a month-long operation led by the FBI to apprehend child predators and recover victims of child exploitation and sex trafficking.  The operation was executed during the month of July.

The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor A.S. Régal prosecuted the case.

Operation Independence Day is part of the broader Project Safe Childhood initiative. PSC combats the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse and was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorney’s 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


Public Affairs

Updated November 26, 2019

Project Safe Childhood