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May 17, 2021Paducah, KY, United StatesChild Exploitation

Registered sex offender indicted on child exploitation and firearms offenses

PADUCAH, Ky. — A federal grand jury returned an indictment against a previously convicted sex offender charging him with possession of child pornography and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The announcement was made on Friday by the acting U.S. attorney for the western district of Kentucky.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted this investigation along with Eddyville Police Department, Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, and Paducah Police Department.

According to an April 2021, criminal complaint, law enforcement officials opened an investigation into Kenneth Swartz, 63, of Eddyville, Kentucky, after receiving a complaint alleging that he attempted to photograph a minor while shopping at a local store in May 2020. Eddyville Police Department confirmed the events after reviewing store security footage. During the execution of a search warrant on Swartz’s residence, law enforcement recovered a Savage Arms, Stevens model 94 shotgun and several cell phones. In June 2020, law enforcement became aware that Swartz possessed an additional cell phone that he kept hidden under a sink at a residence. Execution of a second search warrant produced an additional phone.

The Paducah Police Department conducted forensic imaging of the data on the cell phones. HSI further analyzed the data and located over 200 images of child pornography.

Swartz has previous felony convictions in Kentucky for offenses of sexual abuse, first degree, in Bath County in 1998; possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor in Fayette County in 2010; and failure to comply with sex offender registration in Lyon County in 2016.

Due to his prior sexual abuse conviction, if convicted at trial Swartz faces not less than 10 years and not more than 20 years in prison for possession of child pornography and not more than 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The case is scheduled for arraignment on May 27, 2021.

The criminal complaint and indictment are accusations only and the individual is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and 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 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 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.

Updated: 05/17/2021