South Carolina Man Charged With Distribution Of Child Pornography
NEWARK, N.J. – A South Carolina man will appear in federal court today on charges of distributing images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Rashad Russell, 28, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 6, 2018, on one count of distribution of child pornography. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Between December 2017 and March 2018, Russell allegedly contacted a law enforcement officer working in an undercover capacity through Facebook messenger stating that he was willing to travel from South Carolina to New Jersey to meet the undercover agent’s purported 8-year-old child for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with the child. On Jan. 8, 2018, Russell sent two images and one video 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.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael, with the investigation leading to the indictment.
The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah Gould of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Protection Unit in Newark.