By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Sheridan man pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor child in U.S. District Court in Idaho this week in connection with allegations he asked another man to produce child pornography for him.
James Colton Giannell, 23, of Sheridan, pleaded guilty to the charge Monday after being indicted by a federal grand jury in Pocatello, Idaho, on Aug. 25, 2020.
According to court records, Giannell admitted that he asked Andrew John Jemmett, over the Internet, to produce child pornography for him in April 2019, while Jemmett was in Idaho.
Jemmett used an 8-year-old child to create pornographic videos that he sold online to Giannell for $150. The videos were produced in a public restroom in Pocatello.
Jemmett later used Snapchat to share the videos with Giannell.
Law enforcement interviewed Giannell following his arrest and Giannell admitted to requesting and paying for the videos to be produced.
Giannell will be sentenced on Jan. 4, 2022 and faces anywhere between 15 and 30 years in federal prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to a lifetime of supervised release. A federal district court judge will determine the sentence after considering federal sentencing guidelines and other factors.
Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez Jr., of the District of Idaho made the announcement and commended the cooperative efforts of Homeland Security Investigations in Idaho Falls, the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Pocatello Police Department, and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which led to charges.
This 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.
As part of Project Safe Childhood, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office partner to marshal 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.