Las Vegas Illusionist Pleads Guilty To Possession, Receipt, And Distribution Of Child Pornography
LAS VEGAS, Nev.—A former Las Vegas illusionist pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Chief Judge Gloria M. Navarro to possession, receipt, and distribution of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.
“The risk to our children from sexual predators is constant and continuing,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these disturbing cases and dangerous defendants as part of our implementation of the Project Safe Childhood initiative throughout Nevada. The Court may consider any counts dismissed under the Plea Agreement and all other relevant conduct, whether charged or uncharged, in determining the appropriate sentence to be imposed in this case.”
Jan Rouven Fuechtener, aka Lars Schmidt, 39, a citizen of Germany, was indicted on March 30, 2016. Sentencing has been scheduled for March 16, 2017, before Chief Judge Navarro.
According to court documents and admissions made in court, on August 2015, a Task Force Officer from the FBI Buffalo Field Office Child Exploitation Task Force in New York, operating in an undercover capacity, was accepted as a friend by user name “Lars45” on GigaTribe, a peer-to-peer file sharing program. On Sept.14, 2015, the officer used the password previously supplied by Lars45 and was able to access and browse Lars45’s shared directories. The officer downloaded numerous files after observing file titles indicative of child pornography. On Jan. 21, 2016, during the execution of a search warrant at the defendant's residence in Las Vegas, law enforcement seized 38 devices throughout the residence. A forensic examination of the seized devices revealed that there were over 9,000 videos depicting children engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Fuechtener admitted that the Lars45 GigaTribe account belonged to him.
Fuechtener further admitted to using the Skype username “larusa22” to engage in chats to offer to distribute child pornography by sharing his GigaTribe Lars45 folder in exchange for a thing of value. Skype user account larusa22 is associated with an email address belonging to Fuechtener.
At the time of sentencing, Fuechtener will face a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count and a five year minimum mandatory on two counts.
The case was investigated by the FBI, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elham Roohani and Lisa C. Cartier-Giroux.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. 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 and for information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.