Federal collaboration produced real time results, 360 month sentence for production, transportation & possession of child porn
Partnership between FBI, U.S. Army CID, and USAO led to quick arrest
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – United States District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings has sentenced Andrew Paul Schmidt to 360 months, followed by lifetime of supervised release, after he pleaded guilty in October 2018 to five counts of production of child pornography by a parent, 10 counts of transportation of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman.
"This just punishment for human nature at its worst, and it’s a result of law enforcement at its best,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “Potential jurisdictional and bureaucratic obstacles all evaporated when an imminent risk to a child appeared. I’m grateful for the professionalism and dedication to duty of FBI Special Agents Mark Coleman and Stephen Keary and prosecutors Josh Judd and Greta Ellis in this successful effort to protect our kids.”
“We have no greater duty than to protect the most vulnerable among us – our children,” said FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr. “Those who wish to harm our children and think they are acting anonymously on the Internet are simply wrong. I can assure you, the FBI and our law enforcement partners will relentlessly pursue those who produce, distribute, and possess child pornography, and they will be held accountable.
The investigation, arrest, and prosecution of Schmidt is demonstrative of the close working relationship between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), and the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO).
According to the evidence before the Court, on December 4, 2017, Schmidt utilized KiK messenger to communicate with an individual online, which unbeknownst to Schmidt, was an undercover employee of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). During the course of the online conversation, Schmidt sent the undercover employee pornographic images of a family member, and discussed the sexual activity he had and wished to perpetrate on her.
An examination of Schmidt’s cell phone revealed pornographic images of an 11-month-old baby, produced by Schmidt. Images of Schmidt’s daughter were also found to have been sent by him to another KiK user. Several other pornographic images not produced by Schmidt were also found on his phone.
A federal grand jury indicted Schmidt on six counts on December 20, 2017, and returned a superseding indictment with additional charges on March 21, 2018. Schmidt pleaded guilty to all charges on October 4, 2018.
Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Judd and United States Army Captain Greta M. Ellis, Special Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuted the case. The FBI conducted the investigation, with assistance from the U.S. Army CID.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.