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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Woman Distributes Child Pornography


Dundalk Woman Sentenced for Distributing Child Pornography

February 25, 2010 - BALTIMORE—U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson sentenced Michelle Lynn Smith, age 33, of Dundalk, Maryland, today to five years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for distributing child pornography. The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to Smith’s plea agreement, while text messaging with a cooperating witness in April 2009, Smith offered a minor child to the individual for sex. The cooperating witness contacted the FBI, and agents reviewed the messages and saw pictures that Smith had sent to the cooperating witness on April 29, 2009 of sexually explicit conduct. The cooperating witness agreed to have an FBI agent pose as the cooperating witness in order to continue the conversations with Smith. Smith continued to talk about the minor in sexually explicit terms. In addition to the text messages, on May 5, 2009, Smith sent the undercover agent pictures of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Smith also admitted that she sent these same pictures to a man in Tennessee using her cellular phone.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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. Details about Maryland’s program are available at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Solette Magnelli and Paul E. Budlow, who prosecuted the case.

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