WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDAM) - This is a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
A Greenwell Springs, Louisiana, man was sentenced to serve 240 months in prison for engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and production of child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney James A. Lewis of the Central District of Illinois and Special Agent in Charge Sean Cox of the FBI's Springfield, Illinois, Division.
Dakota K. Martin, 21, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce of the Central District of Illinois, who also ordered him to serve a 25-year term of supervised release and to forfeit all of his computer equipment. Martin pleaded guilty on Aug. 5, 2015. He has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals since his arrest on Nov. 19, 2014.
Martin admitted upon entering his guilty plea to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and to producing child pornography. According to the second superseding indictment, the enterprise involved an Internet-based, members-only bulletin board the purpose of which was, among other things, the advertisement and distribution of child pornography. Also according to the second superseding indictment, the rules of the website required prospective members to register an account and post child pornography to the satisfaction of board members in order to become a member, and to continue to post images of child pornography to remain in good standing and avoid removal from the site. The website's rules also required members to upload encrypted child pornography images or videos to an approved website, along with necessary passwords needed to download such images or videos, according to the second superseding indictment. According to a criminal information, in February 2014, Martin also produced child pornography involving a minor victim.
On July 15, 2016, Martin's co-conspirator Jason Gmoser, 36, of Hamilton, Ohio, was sentenced to serve life in prison for engaging in a child exploitation enterprise. Gmoser was also sentenced to 30 years and 20 years to be served concurrent to the life sentence for conspiring to advertise and conspiring to distribute child pornography, respectively.
The FBI's Springfield Field Office and the FBI's Violent Crimes Against Children Section, Major Case Coordination Unit and Digital Analysis and Research Center led the investigation of this case. Acting Assistant Deputy Chief Keith Becker and Trial Attorney Elly Peirson of the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and 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 www.justice.gov/psc.