Federal jury finds Ville Platte man guilty of possessing, receiving child pornography
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a federal jury found a Ville Platte man guilty Tuesday of possessing and receiving thousands of images of child pornography using an internet file sharing program.
Bradley Smith, 60, of Ville Platte, La., was found guilty of two counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of receiving child pornography. United States District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote presided over the trial. The defendant’s trial started Monday and ended Tuesday with the jury returning the guilty verdict after deliberating for 40 minutes. Evidence admitted at trial revealed that in September of 2012 law enforcement detected Smith using an internet file sharing program to download child pornography. The software is used to trade files on the internet among its members. Law enforcement searched Smith’s residence on September 24, 2012 and seized his computer and computer hard drives. After a forensic examination of the hardware was conducted, a total of 40 movies and 1,100 images of child pornography were found. Some of the material included very young children engaged in sexually explicit activities.
Smith faces up to 10 years in prison for the possession of child pornography counts and five to 20 years in prison for the receiving child pornography counts. He also faces five years to life of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing has been set for September 24, 2015.
The FBI and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Luke Walker and Robert C. Abendroth are prosecuting the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Those concerned may also leave tips with the FBI at tips.fbi.gov. Tips may be submitted anonymously. The Lafayette FBI office number is (337) 232-2164.