Federal charges filed in 3 recent Utah child pornography cases

The federal courthouse in Salt Lake City is pictured on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.

(Scott G Winterton, KSL, File)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of arranging to sexually abuse an undercover FBI agent’s fictitious young daughter now faces federal charges.

Lowell David Smith, 43, of Salt Lake City, who was recently charged in state court with attempted rape of a child and two counts of drug possession, has now been charged in federal court with child pornography production, coercion and enticement of a minor, and distribution of child pornography.

If convicted, Smith faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison on the production of child pornography charge and a maximum of 30 years.

Between May 17 and Oct. 7, a member of the FBI Child Exploitation Human Trafficking task force in Salt Lake City posed as a father offering his 9-year-old daughter to be sexually abused. He exchanged messages online with Smith who sent numerous explicit messages, pictures and videos of child pornography, according to charging documents, once he believed the undercover agent would allow him to abuse the girl.

“I really am into doing all this if you are serious. I’ll go to you or whatever you wanna do,” one message from Smith states, according to the charges. “Like today would be best cuz kids grow up fast lol so the sooner we start the better it will be.”

At one point, Smith asked the undercover agent if he knew any other parents who would be willing to participate, and even suggested getting the girl pregnant so they could later abuse her child, the charging documents state.

The Smith investigation is the third disturbing child pornography case that U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber’s office has filed in recent weeks.

Thomas Michael Wallen, 21, of South Jordan, was charged Sept. 29 with production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

The investigation into Wallen began when authorities in Australia identified a person in Utah who was allegedly distributing child pornography. Wallen is accused of distributing numerous pornographic videos, including one of himself sexually abusing a young boy, the charges state.

Last week, Gregory Thomas Warg, 28, of South Ogden, was charged both in 2nd District Court and federal court with child pornography-related counts. In federal court, Warg is charged with transportation of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

The investigation into Warg began after Dropbox filed a complaint that suspected child pornography had been uploaded to an account, the charges state. The investigation eventually lead to Warg.

“Warg also admitted to downloading, viewing, and sharing child pornography using various means to include various popular social media apps. Warg stated that he felt guilty about his activities and had tried to stop; however, at some point something would start the urge again and the process would start all over again. Warg denied ever having any sexual contact with children,” according to the charges.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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