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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Upstate Man Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges

Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon stated today that Keith D. Cook, age 38, of Greer, pled guilty in federal court in Spartanburg, to possession of child pornography, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252A.  United States District Judge Donald C. Coggins, of Spartanburg, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he 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 January 18, 2017, law enforcement conducted a search warrant at Cook’s home after receiving information that he was uploading child pornography to a mobile device.  A search warrant was conducted at the home and Cook was located at his place of business.  Law enforcement recovered Cook’s cell phone and located multiple images of children, some prepubescent, engaging in the lascivious display of the genitals.  Cook was questioned and admitted to downloading the child pornography that led to the search warrant. 

Ms. Lydon stated that because Cook has a prior conviction for possessing child pornography he is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.  The maximum penalty Cook can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 20 years, supervised release of up to life, plus a special assessment of $100. 

The case was investigated by agents with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Investigations. 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): 
Contact: 
Lance Crick (864) 282-2105
Updated July 24, 2018