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October 25, 2022Grand Rapids, MI, United StatesChild Exploitation

Michigan man sentenced to over 15 years for distributing child pornography following HSI investigation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A local man was sentenced Oct. 21 to 188 months in prison for distributing child pornography.

In addition to the lengthy prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney imposed a 20-year period of supervised release to follow the incarceration of 41-year-old Chad Kraft, from Galesburg, Michigan.

After imposing the sentence, Judge Maloney stated, “it would be an understatement to describe Kraft’s conduct as grotesque.”

Kraft’s conviction followed his 2011 state conviction for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and his 2015 federal conviction for failing to register as a sex offender. Kraft also had a history of using aliases, different dates of birth, and different Social Security numbers to avoid registration and to evade detection. In March 2022, law enforcement received a tip that Kraft, who had not registered as a sex offender since May 2021, was residing in Galesburg and had sexually explicit images of children on his phone. Law enforcement seized Kraft’s phone and a forensic examination showed that Kraft used a messaging application to request and share child pornography, including videos of children under the age of five being sexually abused.

“This case highlights the important role our community members play in bringing predators like Kraft to justice,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Detroit Special Agent in Charge Angie Salazar. “By seeing something and speaking up, we can all work to end the victimization of innocent children.”

“We take very seriously the crimes of viewing, receiving, and sharing images of children being sexually abused,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “My office will continue to aggressively pursue those who contribute to the serial abuse of children through the distribution of child pornography.”

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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the 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

The case was investigated by HSI and the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Townshend.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Learn more about HSI’s mission @HSIDetroit.