ATHENS – A Madison County resident has been convicted by a federal jury of distributing and possessing child sexual abuse material, just days after GBI investigators discovered evidence that he continued to distribute CSAM while simultaneously cutting off his ankle monitor to prevent the To avoid imprisonment, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Christopher Snow, 36, of Carlton, was sentenced to 240 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Tilman E. Self III after being convicted June 7 on one count of distributing child sexual abuse material and one count of possession of child sexual abuse material. Snow will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from federal prison. The defendant is not eligible for probation.
“Individuals who participate in any part of the horrific online world of child sexual abuse – in its creation, distribution or possession – will be held accountable for these crimes that are deeply damaging to children,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D .Leary in a press release. “This case, like so many other cases our firm works on, was successfully resolved thanks to the collaboration of many different groups and agencies focused on protecting children and prosecuting offenders.”
“This case is a powerful reminder of our commitment to protecting children from the atrocities of child sexual abuse,” said GBI Director Chris Hosey. “The GBI remains resolute in its pursuit of justice and will not tolerate those who prey on our innocence, our most vulnerable population.”
“Snow not only spread the disturbing material for years, but he did not stop once he was arrested and stood trial,” said Keri Farley, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure such people receive the full measure of justice.”
According to court documents and evidence presented in court, in August 2018, the GBI received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a Facebook user was spreading suspicious CSAM via Facebook Messenger. As part of its investigation, GBI was able to determine that the user of this Facebook account lived in Carlton. A search warrant was executed at Snow’s apartment; Police seized several electronic devices that Snow kept in a padlocked room. A digital forensic examiner later determined that these electronic devices, including the phone found on Snow the day of the search warrant, contained at least 45 images and 17 videos from CSAM. The material contained images of children under 12 years of age.
As a condition of Snow’s provisional release, he was required to wear an ankle monitor and not have access to electronic devices. On June 1, GBI received another cybertip indicating that Snow may have continued to spread CSAM through the Kik messenger app in 2022 while awaiting trial. Snow was scheduled for a federal hearing before his trial on June 2, but he cut off his ankle monitor on June 1. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on June 5.
This case was filed as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the GBI with assistance from the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex Kalim and Robert McCullers prosecuted the case for the government, with assistance from Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigation Will Keyes.