BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A Georgia man was sentenced Monday to 17 years, six months in prison, followed by ten years of supervised release, for distributing child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Devin Spencer Williams, 19, of Blackshear, pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing child pornography in January 2014. He was also ordered by United States District Court Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to register as a sex offender upon his release.
According to the evidence presented at Williams' plea and sentencing hearings, between March 2013 and July 2013, Williams, while in both the Blackshear and Brunswick areas, exchanged email messages with various individuals in order to trade child pornography. In fact, when his computer and mobile devices were searched pursuant to federal search warrants, HSI special agents found hundreds of images depicting child sexual abuse. In addition, the evidence revealed that in July 2013, Williams engaged in a number of email chats with an individual in Maine – who is facing federal charges there – who was actively molesting children in his care. Through those emails, Williams requested and received a number of images depicting the sexual molestation of those children.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver stated, "It is disturbing that someone so young would engage in trading images of child pornography and would seek images from an active child molester. His conduct exemplifies how those who seek out these images, either directly or indirectly, encourage others to create more images, and perpetuate the horrific victimization of young children. Williams committed a serious crime for which the Court correctly imposed lengthy punishment. The Department of Justice and this United States Attorney's Office will continue efforts to protect children using aggressive prosecution and advocacy for significant sentences for these crimes."
"This significant sentence is an important indication that HSI special agents and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate the trading of child pornography in our society," said Special Agent in Charge Brock D. Nicholson of HSI Atlanta, who oversees the agency's criminal investigations in Georgia and the Carolinas. "Anyone who thinks they can get away with trafficking in this filth should consider the fact that this defendant will spend nearly 20 years behind bars. Trading in child pornography isn't a game or a crime that law enforcement takes lightly; it is a serious crime with serious consequences. Those who choose to continue to engage in it should not be surprised when HSI comes knocking at their door and a judge gives them decades in a prison cell to consider their bad choices."
This case was investigated by HSI special agents located in Bangor, Maine and Savannah. They were assisted by the Coast Guard Investigative Service and the College of Coastal Georgia Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Greenwood, deputy criminal chief in the Augusta U. S. Attorney's Branch Office and Project Safe Childhood coordinator, prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.