Zimmerman man pleads guilty to child pornography

A 49-year-old Zimmerman man pleaded guilty on April 20 to producing images of three teenage boys engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Scott James Whitcomb pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography. Whitcomb, who was indicted on Jan. 19, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson.

In his plea agreement, Whitcomb admitted that between 2007 and 2010, he produced videos containing images of the three boys, two of whom were between the ages of 12 and 16, while the third was younger than 12. In addition, Whitcomb admitted storing the images on digital cameras, memory sticks and computers. According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the case, Whitcomb’s activity was discovered on Aug. 4, 2010, while a Minneapolis police officer was conducting an online undercover operation in search of those who share child pornography through peer-to-peer Internet networks. The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office subsequently executed a search warrant at Whitcomb’s residence, where they seized two computers containing images of the boys. Whitcomb was arrested on Dec. 20, 2010, and charged in state court.

Prior to posting bail, he was taken into federal custody.

Whitcomb is a former employee of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Whitcomb also served as a U.S. Air Marshal and prison guard.

For his crime, Whitcomb faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years. Judge Nelson will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.

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