Criminal Justice News

Friday, May 31, 2019

Bullhead Man Charged with Child Abuse and Assault


United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Bullhead, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Child Abuse and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.

Rex Harrison, age 52, was indicted on May 14, 2019.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William D. Gerdes on May 29, 2019, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges that on April 4, 2019, Harrison abused, exposed, tortured, tormented, and cruelly punished minor children who had not attained the age of 18, and further assaulted another individual with a tire iron and a vehicle with the intent to do bodily harm.

The charges are merely accusations and Harrison is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirsten Jasper is prosecuting the case.  

Harrison was released on bond pending trial.  A trial date has not been set.

Guilty Plea from Kent Man Who made Multiple Online Threats to Kill


Threatened Family Members of the President, Members of the Jewish Community, and other Public Figures

          A 27-year-old Kent, Washington, resident pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two counts of making interstate threats for his online posts threatening members of President Trump’s family and media figures in Southern California and making threats to bomb synagogues, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  CHASE BLISS COLASURDO, was arrested May 1, 2019.  Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez scheduled sentencing for August 23, 2019.

          According to the criminal complaint, in March 2019, a member of the public reported to the FBI concerns about Instagram and other social media posts where COLASURDO threatened to execute members of President Donald Trump’s family.  Additionally, COLASURDO sent messages to five different media organizations that he was going to execute the family member.  COLASURDO posted a photo on Instagram showing a hand with a firearm pointed at the photo of a Trump family member.  When initially contacted by law enforcement in March, COLASURDO claimed his social media accounts had been hacked.

          Despite his statements that he was not responsible for the posts, COLASURDO continued to make threatening comments, specifically threats to members of the Jewish community.  In one post, he wrote it was time to start “bombing synagogues.”  Throughout April 2019, COLASURDO sent threatening email messages and online posts to media figures in Southern California using anti-Semitic slurs and threats to kill.  As law enforcement continued to track his activity, it became clear he was purchasing various items related to firearms, such as a holster, bulletproof vest, and ammunition.  COLASURDO attempted to purchase a firearm but was denied.

            When law enforcement served search warrants at COLASURDO’s apartment, they recovered Nazi and Adolph Hitler related items, as well as ammunition, night vision goggles, and a gas mask.          

          Interstate threats are punishable by up to five years in prison and three years of supervised release.          

          The case is being investigated by the FBI and U.S. Secret Service in conjunction with an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. Significant assistance was provided by the Sound Regional Violent Crimes Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.

Mansfield man indicted on child pornography charges


A Mansfield man was indicted on child pornography charges.

Christian K. Smith, Jr., 44, was was charged with receiving, distributing and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Smith knowingly received, attempted to receive and distributed numerous computer files which  contained visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. This took place between May 9, 2014 through May 2, 2019, according to the indictment.

The indictment also charges that on or about May 2, 2019, Smith possessed two cellular phones and a laptop computer that contained child pornography.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant's role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol M. Skutnik following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force in Mansfield Office.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.