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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Moore Man Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

Contact Person: Lance Crick (864) 282-2105

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that Harold Blackwell, age 40, of Moore, pled guilty 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 H. 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 undercover law enforcement agents engaging in child exploitation investigations were approached by Blackwell on a “KIK” messaging application.  Blackwell sent an undercover officer videos and images of child pornography.  Blackwell was approached by law enforcement and admitted to sending child pornography using his cell phone.

Ms. Drake stated the maximum penalty Blackwell can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for no more than 20 years, plus a special assessment of $100. 

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  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 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.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated March 22, 2017