GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A local man was sentenced Oct. 21 to 188 months in prison for distributing child pornography.
In addition to the lengthy prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney imposed a 20-year supervised release period following the incarceration of Chad Kraft, 41, of Galesburg, Michigan.
After handing down the sentence, Judge Maloney said, “It would be an understatement to call Kraft’s conduct grotesque.”
Kraft’s conviction follows his 2011 state conviction for fourth-degree felony sexual conduct and his 2015 federal conviction for failing to register as a sex offender. Kraft also had a habit of using aliases, different dates of birth, and different social security numbers to avoid registration and evade detection. In March 2022, law enforcement received a tip that Kraft, who had not registered as a sex offender since May 2021, resided in Galesburg and had sexually explicit images of children on his phone. Law enforcement seized Kraft’s phone and a forensic examination showed Kraft had used a messaging app to request and share child pornography, including videos of child victims under the age of five. of sexual abuse.
“This case highlights the important role that members of our community play in bringing predators like Kraft to justice,” said Angie Salazar, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Detroit. “By seeing and talking, we can all work to end the victimization of innocent children.”
“We take the crime of viewing, receiving and sharing images of child sexual abuse victims very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “My office will continue to aggressively pursue those who contribute to the serial abuse of children through the distribution of child pornography.”
This case was 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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children through Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information on the Safe Childhood Project, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
The case was investigated by HSI and the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Townshend.
HSI is the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, particularly criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which commerce, travel and international finance. HSI’s workforce of more than 10,400 employees includes more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities across the United States and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative police presence overseas and one of the largest international law enforcement footprints in the United States.
Learn more about HSI’s mission @HSIDetroit.