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Child Exploitation

Former Maryland school bus driver pleads guilty to producing child pornography

GREENBELT, Md. – A Prince George's County, Md. former school bus driver pleaded guilty earlier today to two counts of producing child pornography following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Scott Smallwood, 29, of Upper Marlboro, Md., faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a minimum of 15 years in prison followed by up to life of supervised release on each of the two counts of producing child pornography. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus scheduled sentencing for June 5, 2012 at 9:00 a.m.

"A vigilant citizen reported the discovery of child pornography, and remarkable detective work by police and federal agents resulted in the rescue of an abused child," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. "This case demonstrates the value Project Safe Childhood brings by joining local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and making it a priority to identify unknown abused children and prosecute pedophiles who abuse them."

"Child predators targeting our most vulnerable members of society is a serious matter and even more disturbing when it involves a school bus driver," said Special Agent in Charge William Winter of HSI Baltimore. "HSI is committed to apprehending individuals who sexually exploit our children and deprive them of their innocence. We will continue working with local, state and federal agencies to investigate such reprehensible actions."

According to his guilty plea, on March 15, 2010, Smallwood left a microSD card on the counter of a 7-11 convenience store located in Clinton, Md. That same day, an individual reported to the Prince George's County Police that he found a microSD card from the same store. The individual observed 10 to 15 videos on the microSD card, including images of a man engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a prepubescent male.

On March 17, 2010, the individual provided the microSD card to law enforcement. HSI special agents subsequently identified Smallwood as the person that left the microSD card at the store. Further investigation revealed 13 videos on the microSD card, eight of which depicted Smallwood engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a seven-year-old boy, or Smallwood engaging in sexual conduct in front of the child.

On May 21, 2010, the boy depicted in the videos was located and interviewed by Prince George's County Department of Social Services. Smallwood admitted that he had the boy at his home for "sleepovers" where he offered candy in exchange for inappropriate sexual contact. Smallwood was employed by Prince George's County Public Schools as a school bus driver, primarily for elementary school aged children. Smallwood also drove for a church at night.

Smallwood was arrested on May 21, 2010 and later admitted he had several inappropriate contacts with the boy and that he produced visual recordings of his sexual contact with the boy using his cell phone. Smallwood also admitted to taking the microSD card containing the sexually explicit videos out of his cell phone in order to destroy it, but inadvertently lost it. HSI special agents executed a federal search warrant on Smallwood's residence and seized several notebooks with charts and lists denoting sexual contact with several children, as well as several hundred pages of stories about sexual encounters between minors, and between minors and adults.

The investigation was conducted by HSI with the assistance and support of Prince George's County Police Department, Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office and the Prince George's County Board of Education.

The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Stacy Dawson Belf and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas.