March 4, 2021

Alabama man gets more than 15-years in federal prison after 771 child porn images found on cell phone

A sex offender from Alabama was sentenced to federal prison Tuesday for distribution of child pornography

Chadwick Rice, a 48-year-old Pinson man, was sentenced to 188 months – more than 15 years, according to an announcement by Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona, FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger.

In March 2020, Rice pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography. Rice was previously convicted of three counts of possession of child pornography in Jefferson County, Alabama, in 2016. This conviction required him to register as a sex offender.

“There is zero tolerance for those who continue to break the law to engage in the sexual exploitation of children,” said U.S. Attorney Escalona. “Law enforcement will continue to vigilantly monitor the internet using every method available to us in order to uncover  evidence of child exploitation and abuse so that we can protect children from such offenders.”

“This case not only exemplifies the great work of my agents and our partners, but also the importance of citizens saying something when they see something of concern,” said FBI SAC Sharp. “Thanks in part to information provided by a citizen tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) Cyber Tip Line, law enforcement was able to stop Rice from victimizing any other children.”

“The community can rest a little easier knowing that this serial offender is no longer free to spread the filth that victimizes our most vulnerable population, said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “HSI and its law enforcement partners remain committed to find, arrest and prosecute those who seek to steal the innocence of our youth.”

According to the plea agreement, during an authorized Peer-to-Peer (“P2P”) operation in December 2017, an agent downloaded images of suspected child pornography from a specific IP address. In February 2018, the agent received Cyber-Tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (“NCMEC”) that images of child pornography had been uploaded from the same IP address.  Further investigation revealed that the IP address was registered to Rice. In March 2018, a search warrant was executed at Rice’s home in Pinson, where child pornography was located on Rice’s Samsung Galaxy cell phone.  During a forensic review of Rice’s cell phone, 771 images of children being sexually exploited were identified.  Rice admitted he had various apps on his cell phone that he used to trade videos of child pornography with other individuals.

The FBI investigated the case, along with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and Vestavia Hills Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney R. Leann White prosecuted the case.

The 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 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, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.