York Man Admits to Distributing Child Pornography
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated that Gordon Bigelow, age 39, of York, South Carolina, 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 Cameron McGowan Currie, 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 investigated an individual in North Carolina who was trading child pornography on the internet and looking for “playmates“ with minor girls in North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina. An ICE - Homeland Security Investigations agent contacted the individual in North Carolina, posing as an individual offering a 13-year-old child as a “playmate.” The individual from North Carolina was arrested when he showed up for a meeting with the undercover agent. A search of the North Carolina’s individual’s electronic equipment revealed that Bigelow was one of the people with whom he had been trading child pornography. A search warrant was executed at Bigelow’s residence and child pornography was found as well as evidence that Bigelow was trading child pornography on the internet.
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 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.