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Middle District of Florida | Former Jail Contractor Sentenced To More Than 17 Years For Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Materials | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Brandon Paul Smolinski (36, Middleburg) to 17 years and 6 months in federal prison for distribution of child sexual abuse materials. His prison term is to be followed by 10 years of supervised release. The court also ordered Smolinski to pay $33,500 in restitution to the victims of his offense. Smolinski had pleaded guilty on March 22, 2023.

According to court documents, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) initiated an investigation after receiving information about five files of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) being sent over a social media application by a user. PCSO’s investigation revealed that the files were sent from within the Putnam County Jail and traced the social media account to that of Smolinski, who was working for a transportation company that does work inside of the Putnam County Jail. The company provided Smolinski’s work schedule and confirmed that he was working in the Putnam County Jail on the dates and times the files were shared from within the facility.

PCSO contacted the Clay County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) to request assistance at Smolinski’s residence in Middleburg and CCSO discovered additional information that the internet service at Smolinski’s residence was also used to upload files of CSAM using the same social media application. Detectives from PCSO and CCSO approached Smolinski in the parking lot at the Putnam County Jail. During an interview with the detectives, Smolinski stated that he worked in the jail for approximately six months. He further said that he worked the nightshift, and even though no one was supposed to bring their phones into the jail tower, he brought his phone and used it to log onto the secure Wi-Fi at the Putnam County Jail.

Smolinski admitted to having the social media application used to distribute the files of CSAM. When shown particular files of CSAM distributed from his account, Smolinski acknowledged having seen the files and that they depicted children, estimating that one of the children being sexually abused in a video appeared “young, 10 years old.” Smolinski said he would save a video shared with him via chat groups on the app, and then would flip the videos around and re-send them out. When asked if he knew what he was doing was wrong, Smolinski replied, “Oh … yes, … 100% wrong.” Smolinski said he had been involved viewing and distributing CSAM for several years.

During a forensic review of Smolinski’s iPhone, law enforcement discovered multiple files of CSAM, including a file sent to Person A on June 27, 2022. Also, on Smolinski’s phone were several chat messages between Smolinski and Person A, during which they talked about exploiting children. Within the messages, Smolinski said his “favorite age” was “8-9-10-14. Somewhere in there, but I’m not picky.”

“This sexual predator knew he was ‘100 percent wrong’ when distributing child sexual abuse materials on the internet, and he did it anyway,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips. “The Northeast Florida INTERCEPT Task Force, to include Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and Clay County Sheriff’s Office, will continue to combine efforts, technology, and expertise to identify and prosecute those who prey on children.” 

This case was investigated by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Northeast Florida INTERCEPT Task Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ashley Washington and former United States Attorney Kelly Karase.

It is another case 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.



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