GREENBELT, Md.—Shawn Fred Crawford, age 47, of Lusby, Calvert County, pleaded guilty on January 28 to possession and distribution of child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the plea agreement, on July 25, 2012, Crawford distributed six images and 16 videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. After an investigation by the FBI, a search warrant was executed at Crawfords home on September 18, 2012. A subsequent forensic examination of the computers and other digital media seized during the search revealed approximately 4,700 images and 1,100 videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including children under the age of 12.
As part of his plea agreement, Crawford will be required to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Crawford faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison for distribution of child pornography; and a maximum of 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography, each followed by up to a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus has scheduled sentencing for May 14, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.
The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), with members from 10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Task Force coordinates with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Maryland State Police Child Recovery Unit to identify missing and abused children.
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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristi N. OMalley, who is prosecuting the case.
Source: Office of United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein