Man Admits to Distributing Child Pornography
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Marlin Russell Derk, age 46, of Sumter, South Carolina, has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Columbia, to distributing child pornography images that had traveled in interstate/foreign commerce by computer, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A. United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis, accepted the guilty 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 ICE - Homeland Security Investigations agents in Washington D.C. and Tampa were monitoring a chatroom hosting website for individuals posting child pornography when, on June 11, 2015, Derk posted child pornography. Derk’s cell phone and computers were subsequently seized and it was determined that he had been uploading and downloading child pornography. Ms. Drake stated the maximum penalty for distributing child pornography is imprisonment for not less than 5 nor more than 20 years plus Supervised Release for from 5 years to life and/or a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and ICE - Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney William E Day, II, of the Columbia office is prosecuting 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 Attorneys’ 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.