Hattiesburg Man Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Hattiesburg Man Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography

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Grantham Anthony Mitchell, Photo Courtesy of Forrest Co. Jail Grantham Anthony Mitchell, Photo Courtesy of Forrest Co. Jail

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The following press release is from the Department of Justice:

Hattiesburg, Miss - Grantham Armstrong Mitchell, 20, of Hattiesburg, pled guilty in U.S. District Court today to production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen.

Mitchell admitted producing a video of himself and a minor child engaging in sexually explicit conduct in Orange Beach, Alabama in 2012. Mitchell also possessed numerous images and videos of minor children, as young as twelve years old, engaging in sex with adults.

The investigation in this case began when a complaint was received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding possible child pornography being uploaded to a Dropbox account via the Internet. An investigation was conducted by members of the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) which is comprised of special agents of the FBI and investigators from the Mississippi Attorney General's Office and the Rankin County Sheriff's Office. The investigation led to the execution of a search warrant for a computer and other electronic devices owned by Mitchell. A forensic review of the computer determined that it contained images and videos of suspected child pornography and led to the identity of the minor child in the video produced by Mitchell.

"A top priority of the Justice Department is to vigorously prosecute those who choose to steal the innocence of young children," said U.S. Attorney Davis. "Working with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to locate and bring charges against those who participate in the victimization of children."

FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen stated: "The CETF reflects the FBI's commitment to advancing its approach to law enforcement to effectively combat evolving threats. By ensuring that investigators with complementary missions are working alongside one another—sharing intelligence, conducting meshed operations, combining physical resources—the FBI enhances its ability to protect children." McMullen recognized the substantial and invaluable assistance provided by the other law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation which led to this arrest in this case. He thanked the Office of Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and the Rankin County Sheriff's Office for their dedication to the case and to the Child Exploitation Task Force.

"It is an honor and privilege to be a part of this federal task force, which strengthens our fight against child predators in our state," said Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.

Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey stated: "We are proud to be a part of this Task Force to help protect children, not only in Rankin County, but throughout the state of Mississippi. We appreciate the good relationships we have developed with the State and with the FBI through Rankin County's participation in the Child Exploitation Task Force."

Grantham will be sentenced on July 21, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. by U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett. He faces a minimum of fifteen years and a maximum of thirty years in prison for production of child pornography, and a maximum of ten years in prison for possession of child pornography.

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