United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker today announced the sentencing of ELLIS SCOTT TOOLES, 31, to 25 years in prison for production of child pornography. TOOLES, who pleaded guilty on May 12, 2017, to one count of production of child pornography, was sentenced earlier today before Judge Susan Richard Nelson in U.S. District Court in Duluth, Minnesota.
“This defendant is a dangerous predator who ruthlessly sought to harm children,” said U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker. “Although no amount of prison time will erase the horrific crimes that were committed, the sentence handed down today will hopefully provide some sense of justice for the victims and others impacted by this defendant’s evil acts.”
“The defendant admitted to attacking and perversely taking advantage of the most vulnerable and innocent member of society,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jill Sanborn. “Today’s sentence ensures that those victims will have the opportunity to grow up in a world where the defendant will not have the opportunity to harm anyone.”
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, on February 14, 2016, TOOLES engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a two-year-old victim and used a cell phone to record and distribute a video and images of the encounter. TOOLES also produced sexually explicit images and videos of 17-year-old victim.
According to court documents, TOOLES was arrested for distributing drugs in the Duluth area in June 2016. Following the arrest, TOOLES reached out to friends and family in the Twin Cities and asked them to retrieve his cell phone so he could access the phone numbers of certain individuals to help him post bail. While TOOLES’S friends and family accessed the phone, they uncovered the horrific video of TOOLES with an infant child in diapers, along with other sexually explicit text messages demonstrating the defendant’s clear intent to harm children. The friends and family turned the phone over to law enforcement.
This case is the result of an investigation led by the FBI, with assistance from the Eagan Police Department, the Apple Valley Police Department, the Burnsville Police Department, the Duluth Police Department, the Saint Louis County Attorney’s Office, and the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.