MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - Two innocent children have been rescued, and one child predator is behind bars for life in Ohio. And it started with the work of a Montgomery County Precinct One detective.
Lebanon, Ohio police arrested 35-year-old Jimmy Smith in March after he made contact with an undercover investigator. Authorities said he thought he was talking with a mother in an internet chat room who wanted to share her young daughter for sex.
In exchange, Smith offered girls who were 8 and 4.
"It wasn't long into the conversation that he sent nude images depicting the children engaged in various sex acts," Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Laura Bond said.
The undercover detective who was communicating with Smith is part of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
In screenshots from Smith's conversation with the undercover investigator, Smith offered to send pictures of a girl and asked what he was going to get in return.
The male detective who was pretending to be a mother then asked how he would be able to tell that the photo Smith sent is really of the girl he's been abusing.
Another screenshot showed Smith in a photo so the detective can see what he looks like. He also asked the detective if she had any nude photos of her and her daughter together. He eventually asked about what types of photos the detective had and then requested a photo of a nude 12-year-old girl.
Within hours of the conversation, Montgomery County authorities were able to obtain an emergency subpoena to track Smith's identity online. His IP address was identified, and authorities arrested him at his home in Lebanon, Ohio.
"It was in less than a day that we rescued two little girls from a child predator," Bond said. "That's exactly why we do these types of investigations."
Smith pleaded guilty and was convicted of seven felonies: One count of rape of a child younger than 13, two counts of child pornography, one count of endangering children, one count of pandering child pornography and two counts of gross sexual imposition.
Last week, he was sentenced to life in prison and will be eligible for parole in 25 years.
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