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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 12, 2017

Greer Man Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

Contact Person: Lance Crick (864) 282-2100

 

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Scott Linnell, age 36, of Greer, pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Greenville, to possession of child pornography, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A. United States District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks of Charleston accepted the plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

 

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on March 10, 2015, an undercover law enforcement officer signed into the undercover Kik user account in order to conduct child exploitation investigations on the Kik Messenger application. On that same day, the undercover saw that user “phx_medic” had posted sexually explicit material in the Kik Messenger chat room “#lolitalovers” on March 8, 2015. At this time, the undercover agent observed that user “phx_medic” had posted fourteen images into the Kik chat room. The undercover agent was able to download and save these images to an undercover device.

 

Based on this incident and others, further investigation traced the IP address involved in the illicit activity to Linnell’s home. On May 27, 2014, a federal search warrant was executed at the home. Computers and other devices were seized. A forensic exam of the devices seized revealed 6000 still images and 16 videos containing child pornography.

 

Ms. Drake stated the maximum penalty Linnell can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 20 years, plus a special assessment of $100.

 

The case was investigated by agents of the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.

 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.


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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated January 12, 2017