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Man pleads guilty to producing child porn

A rural Carlton County man pleaded guilty to producing child pornography in U.S. District Court earlier this month.

Cord Cameron Schipman, 33, was arrested last fall after an FBI covert operation revealed “sexually explicit contact” with a minor, including an explicit photograph.

According to the criminal complaint, a special online covert FBI employee was searching chat rooms on Kik Messenger, which the National Center on Sexual Exploitation calls a “predator’s paradise.”

They found a post by Schipman under the name Cord218 in a chat room touted as trading images of adult men abusing young girls.

In a series of private messages with the covert agent, Schipman allegedly admitted to grooming his victim, who was known to him, and allegedly sent a sexually explicit photo of the child to the undercover agent. He also allegedly posted several images of the victim to the group chat, including one that showed a vehicle and license plate visible in the background.

“Been grooming for awhile,” he messaged the FBI agent, who was based in Alabama. “Today it happens.”

Investigators traced the address of the car to Schipman’s home in Blackhoof Township; they also traced internet IP addresses associated with the messages and/or photographs to the same address.

The Carlton County Sheriff’s Office learned of the FBI investigation on Sept. 27, 2023, and issued and executed search warrants the same day on Schipman, his home and vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint, Schipman allegedly confirmed he was part of the Kik chat group and that he took the photo of a juvenile girl posted there. Schipman allegedly admitted to possessing over 10 images of child sexual abuse, including the photo he took.

Because the iPhone Schipman used to create the image of the juvenile was manufactured from parts originating outside the state of Minnesota, and the internet messaging platform he used is also a means of interstate and international communication, federal charges could apply in the case. Those often come with longer sentences for sex crimes, in this case a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years.

Schipman also faces felony charges in Sixth District Carlton County Court of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under the age of 14, plus one count of using minors in sexual performance work and one count of disseminating pornographic work of a minor under 14. The state charges list maximum sentences between 15 and 25 years.

Those charges have essentially been on hold while the federal case moved forward. Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola recently requested a continuance until November, after Schipman’s sentencing in federal court.

Sentencing guidelines in Schipman’s case range from 17 ½ years to nearly 22 years. The final decision is up to Chief U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz, although both the prosecution and defense can ask for a departure from guidelines or a certain recommended sentence.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 10.

 
 
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