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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 7, 2018

Federal Inmate Sentenced To 151 Months In Prison For Possessing Images Of Child Sexual Abuse While Incarcerated

CAMDEN, N.J. – A federal inmate already serving a lengthy sentence for a child pornography conviction was sentenced today to 151 months in prison for possessing images of child pornography while incarcerated, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Erik M. Smith, 36, of Iron Mountain, Michigan, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to an information charging him with possession of child pornography through the use of a contraband micro SD card. Smith was already serving a 235-month sentence at Federal Correctional Institution Fort Dix (FCI Fort Dix) for his conviction in the Western District of Michigan for receipt of child pornography. Judge Rodriguez imposed today’s sentence in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Smith possessed a 16-gigabyte micro SD card containing 263 images of child pornography, including 213 sexually explicit images of prepubescent children. He told another inmate the SD card included “mostly boy stuff,” referring to images of boys. Smith admitted that he downloaded these and other images of child pornography from a cloud account on behalf of other inmates.

Smith and seven other inmates were arrested in April 2017 and February 2018 following an FBI investigation involving multiple covert recordings and several cooperating inmates. The investigation revealed that Smith and other inmates utilized contraband cellphones, micro SD cards, and access to the internet to obtain, view, and distribute child pornography within the prison. A co-defendant organized and helped facilitate this criminal activity by maintaining cloud accounts that were used as repositories for child pornography.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Rodriguez sentenced Smith to five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation. He also thanked officials of the Bureau of Prisons at Federal Correctional Institution Fort Dix for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gabriel Vidoni and Alyson M. Oswald of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.

Defense counsel: Mark W. Catanzaro Esq., Mount Holly, New Jersey 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-193
Updated May 7, 2018