Jun 7, 2013 7:42 PM by katc
On June 06, 2013, investigators with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations executed a search warrant at the residence of 32-year-old Shannon Ray Smithers of Lake Charles. The warrant was the result of an ongoing Operation Child Watch investigation into the distribution of child pornography over the Internet.
While at the residence, investigators seized computers and electronic devices they believe were used to download and distribute child pornography.
Officials say that during questioning, Smithers admitted to investigators that he downloaded illegal child pornography images and that he would trade child pornography images with other unknown individuals. Smithers allegedly stated that he viewed and traded child pornography images of young females between the ages of ten and fifteen years of age.
Smithers was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center for distribution of child pornography. Bond was set at $500,000.
If convicted, Smithers faces up to a $50,000 fine and from five to twenty years in prison without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
The mission of Operation Child Watch is to rescue children from the potential abuse of child predators by targeting those individuals with sexually explicit images and/or videos on their computers. This is an ongoing effort, in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.