Christopher David Smith, a 31-year-old man from Detroit, Michigan, has been sentenced to 135 months in prison for the enticement of a minor. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Helmick handed down the sentence after Smith pleaded guilty to the charges. In addition to the prison term, Smith has been ordered to pay a $100 special assessment and an additional $5,000 assessment under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. Upon release, he will be placed on supervised release for 10 years and registered as a sex offender. This case involves Smith’s attempt to engage in sexual acts with a 10-year-old child he believed to be real, but who was actually an undercover agent. The investigation was conducted by the FBI Cleveland Division, Toledo Resident Agency, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tracey Tangeman and Sara Al-Sorghali.
Overview of the case
In this case, a Michigan man named Christopher David Smith was sentenced to prison for the enticement of a minor. Smith traveled from Detroit, Michigan to Ohio with the intention of engaging in sexual acts with a 10-year-old child. However, unbeknownst to Smith, the person he had been communicating with online was an undercover agent posing as the child’s father. Smith was arrested when he arrived at the pre-arranged meeting location in Perrysburg, Ohio.
Description of the defendant
Christopher David Smith is a 31-year-old man from Detroit, Michigan. He was the defendant in this case, facing charges of enticement of a minor. Smith had traveled to Ohio with the intention of engaging in sexual acts with a fictitious 10-year-old child. He had engaged in online conversations with an undercover agent, sent child pornography, and made statements expressing his sexual intentions towards the child.
Summary of the charges
Christopher David Smith was charged with the enticement of a minor. He had engaged in online conversations with an undercover agent posing as the father of a fictitious 10-year-old child. During these conversations, Smith sent child pornography to the undercover agent, requested nude photos of the purported child, and made statements indicating his sexual intentions towards the child.
Length of prison sentence
Smith was sentenced to 135 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Helmick. This lengthy sentence reflects the seriousness of the offense and the potential harm that could have been inflicted on a child. The court recognized the need to protect society and ensure that individuals who engage in child exploitation are held accountable for their actions.
In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Helmick ordered Smith to pay a $100 special assessment and an additional $5,000 assessment under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. These assessments will contribute to supporting victims of trafficking and child exploitation. It serves as a reminder of the financial consequences that come with engaging in such criminal behavior.
Supervised release and registration as a sex offender
Upon release from imprisonment, Smith will be subject to 10 years of supervised release. During this time, he will be closely monitored and required to adhere to specific conditions. Furthermore, Smith will be required to register as a sex offender, providing law enforcement with information on his whereabouts and activities. These measures are intended to protect the community and ensure that Smith is closely monitored after his release.
Details of the Offense
Date and location of the offense
The offense took place on April 1, 2021, in Perrysburg, Ohio. Christopher David Smith had traveled from Michigan to meet with whom he believed to be a 10-year-old child.
Online conversations with the undercover agent
Smith had engaged in online conversations with an undercover agent who was posing as the child’s father. During these conversations, Smith sent child pornography to the undercover agent, requested nude photos of the purported child, and made statements expressing his sexual intentions towards the child.
Exchange of child pornography
As part of their online conversations, Smith sent child pornography to the undercover agent. This exchange of explicit material further demonstrated his criminal intentions and his active participation in the dissemination of child pornography.
Arrangement to meet the child
During their online conversations, Smith made arrangements to meet the fictitious 10-year-old child. He traveled from Michigan to Ohio, where he was arrested upon arrival at the pre-arranged meeting location – a hotel in Perrysburg. This physical act of traveling to meet the child solidified his intent to engage in illegal conduct.
Involvement of the FBI Cleveland Division
The FBI Cleveland Division played a crucial role in the investigation of this case. Their expertise in investigating crimes involving child exploitation and their resources were instrumental in gathering evidence and building a strong case against Christopher David Smith. The FBI Cleveland Division worked closely with other law enforcement agencies to ensure the successful outcome of the investigation.
Assistance from the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office
An FBI task force officer from the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office provided valuable assistance in this case. Their collaboration with the FBI Cleveland Division helped strengthen the investigation and ensured that all aspects of the case were thoroughly examined.
Assistance with the arrest from the Perrysburg Police Department
The Perrysburg Police Department played a significant role in the arrest of Christopher David Smith. Their prompt response and collaboration with other law enforcement agencies resulted in the successful apprehension of the defendant at the pre-arranged meeting location in Perrysburg, Ohio.
Prosecuting attorneys involved
Assistant United States Attorneys Tracey Tangeman and Sara Al-Sorghali were the prosecuting attorneys in this case. Their expertise in federal law and experience in prosecuting cases of child exploitation were essential in presenting a strong case against Christopher David Smith.
Role of Assistant United States Attorneys
Assistant United States Attorneys Tangeman and Al-Sorghali were responsible for ensuring that the case against Smith was thoroughly investigated, and all evidence was presented to the court. They worked closely with law enforcement agencies, victims’ advocates, and experts to build a comprehensive case and seek an appropriate sentence for the defendant.
Charges and legal proceedings
Christopher David Smith was charged with the enticement of a minor. After pleading guilty to the charges, he was sentenced to 135 months in prison. The legal proceedings involved extensive investigation, the collection of evidence, and the presentation of the case in court. Ultimately, the court recognized the seriousness of the offense and imposed a significant prison sentence.
Implications for Victims
Impact on the fictitious 10-year-old child
While the child in this case was fictitious, the potential harm that could have been inflicted on a real child is significant. The investigation and successful prosecution of Christopher David Smith send a strong message that child exploitation will not be tolerated, and perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions.
Support and resources for victims of child exploitation
Victims of child exploitation often face significant trauma and require comprehensive support and resources. Various organizations and initiatives, such as Project Safe Childhood, provide assistance to victims and their families. These resources may include legal support, counseling services, and access to specialized programs aimed at helping victims recover from the traumatic experiences they have endured.
Fort Jennings Man Sentenced for Child Exploitation
In a related case, a man named Kirk Smith from Fort Jennings, Ohio, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for child exploitation. The case involved similar circumstances, where Kirk Smith had engaged in online conversations with a minor and facilitated the production and distribution of child pornography.
Toledo Man Sentenced to Prison for Receipt and Distribution of Child Pornography
Another relevant case involved a Toledo man named Zachary Ryan Balusik, who was sentenced to 168 months in prison for the receipt and distribution of child pornography. Balusik had downloaded explicit material involving children and shared it online, contributing to the further victimization of innocent minors.
New Franklin Man Charged with Attempt to Engage in Sexual Activity with Minor and Child Pornography
A federal grand jury indicted Kevin Lewis Hedrick, a man from New Franklin, Ohio, on charges of attempting to engage in sexual activity with a minor and child pornography. This case highlights the ongoing efforts of law enforcement to identify and apprehend individuals who seek to exploit minors for their own gratification.
About Project Safe Childhood
Overview of Project Safe Childhood
Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative aimed at combatting child exploitation. It brings together federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as prosecutors and community organizations, to address the growing problem of child exploitation through education, investigation, and prosecution.
Aim of combating child exploitation
The primary goal of Project Safe Childhood is to protect children from harm and hold individuals who exploit them accountable for their actions. By bringing together diverse stakeholders and coordinating efforts, Project Safe Childhood creates a comprehensive approach to combatting child exploitation and enhancing community safety.
Partnerships and initiatives
Project Safe Childhood relies on partnerships with law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, community organizations, and other stakeholders to achieve its objectives. It collaborates with organizations and initiatives dedicated to victim support and provides resources to educate the public about recognizing and reporting instances of child exploitation.
Involvement of the FBI
Role of the FBI Cleveland Division
The FBI Cleveland Division played a crucial role in investigating and prosecuting the case against Christopher David Smith. As part of their mission to protect the community, the FBI Cleveland Division prioritizes cases of child exploitation and works closely with other law enforcement agencies to ensure the successful apprehension and prosecution of individuals engaged in these crimes.
Task force officer from the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office
An FBI task force officer from the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office was involved in this case. Task force officers are deputized by the FBI to work on specific investigations and provide expertise and resources to assist in achieving successful outcomes. The collaboration between the FBI and local law enforcement agencies strengthens investigations and expands the capabilities of the FBI.
Collaboration between law enforcement agencies
The investigation and prosecution of cases involving child exploitation require a collaborative approach. In this case, the FBI Cleveland Division worked closely with the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office and the Perrysburg Police Department to gather evidence, apprehend the suspect, and ensure the successful prosecution of Christopher David Smith. The coordination between these agencies contributed to a comprehensive investigation and a successful outcome in court.
Contact details for the U.S. Attorney’s Office
For more information or inquiries regarding this case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio can be contacted at the following:
- Office of the United States Attorney
- 801 West Superior Avenue; Suite 400
- Cleveland, Ohio 44113-1852
- Email: USA-NDOH
- Telephone: 216-622-3600
- TTY: 216-522-3086
Information for media inquiries
Media inquiries regarding this case can be directed to:
- Thomas P. Weldon
- Email: Thomas.Weldon@usdoj.gov
- Telephone: (216) 622-3651
How to report cases of child exploitation
If you have information about child exploitation or suspect someone of engaging in such activities, it is crucial to report it to the appropriate authorities. You can report cases of child exploitation to the local police department or contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678). By reporting suspicious activities, you play a vital role in protecting children and assisting law enforcement in their efforts to combat child exploitation.