PITTSBURGH – A New York resident has pleaded guilty and been sentenced in federal court to 72 months’ incarceration and 10 years of supervised release on his conviction of distribution of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today. The Court ordered Keppel to pay a $5,000 special assessment under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 and $2,000 under the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018.
United States District Judge Marilyn J. Horan imposed the sentence on Grant Keppel, age, 23, of Williamsville, NY.
According to information presented to the court, on Nov. 11, 2019, Keppel, while residing in New York, participated in an online group dedicated to discussing the sexual exploitation of minors and offered for sale a link containing hours of video depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. Keppel then sold the link to an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation-Pittsburgh Agent who was investigating the online sexual exploitation of minors. As part of its investigation, the FBI discovered that Keppel had amassed a very large collection of child sexual abuse material in online cloud accounts.
Assistant United States Attorney Heidi M. Grogan prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
United States Attorney Chung commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Pittsburgh, as well as FBI-Buffalo and its Child Exploitation Task Force, including the New York State Police, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Keppel.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.