Mocksville man gets 50 years for producing, distributing child pornography

Published 1:45 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2023

GREENSBORO – A Mocksville man was sentenced to 600 months in prison after pleading guilty to production and distribution of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston of the Middle District of North Carolina (MDNC).

According to court records, in September 2021 the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a cybertip that an individual in Davie County was uploading and distributing child pornography. Law enforcement investigated and determined Steven Tyler Smith, 24, was responsible. Based upon a forensic review, Smith had more than 1,500 images and videos of child sexual exploitation. The investigation further revealed that Smith sexually abused a 15-18 month old child and shared videos and images of the abuse with others online.

Smith was sentenced to a 600 months in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release by the Thomas D. Schroeder, U.S. District Judge in the District Court for the MDNC.  In addition to prison time, Smith was ordered to pay $91,000 restitution to victims and special assessments totaling $5,200. He pled guilty to one count of production of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography on April.

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security and the Davie County Sheriff’s Office and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys K. P. Kennedy Gates and Lindsey Freeman.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.