South Carolina Man Admits Distribution Of Child Pornography
CAMDEN, N.J. – A South Carolina man today admitted his role in distributing images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Rashad Russell, 28, of Bennettsville, South Carolina, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to an indictment charging him with one count of distribution of child pornography. Russell was previously arrested and charged by complaint on March 13, 2018, and was indicted on April 6, 2018.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Between December 2017 and March 2018, Russell contacted a law enforcement officer working in an undercover capacity through Facebook messenger. The undercover officer’s Facebook profile purported to be a young mother living in New Jersey with an 8-year-old child. On Jan. 8, 2018, Russell sent two images and one video of child pornography to the undercover officer, including images of prepubescent children being sexually abused.
The charge of distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 29, 2018.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah Gould of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Protection Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Maggie Moy Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender (Camden)