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Child Exploitation

Volusia County man pleads guilty to child pornography charges

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Port Orange man pleaded guilty Tuesday to distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography. The guilty plea resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

According to court documents, on July 31, 2012, Tyler Andrew Smith, 23, sent an email containing an image of child pornography to an individual in another state. In April 2013, law enforcement discovered Smith's email with the attached child pornography image during an investigation into the individual in the other state.

On March 16, HSI special agents went to Smith's residence in Volusia County and interviewed him. Smith turned over a cellular phone, a netbook computer, and a secure digital memory card to HSI. All three items contained child pornography. Smith admitted, among other things, that he sent the email with the attached child pornography image, that he used email accounts and the Internet to collect and trade child pornography, and that the devices containing child pornography belonged to him. HSI special agents subsequently arrested him.

Smith faces between five and 20 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography and up to 20 years in federal prison for possessing it.

Smith's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 4. He was indicted June 5.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.