Howard man sentenced on child pornography charge

A Howard man has been sentenced for producing child pornography.

26-year-old Lee James Thames was sentenced recently on a charge of Production of Child Pornography.  U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier sentenced Thames to serve 26 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to pay a special assessment of one-hundred dollars to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  

Thames was indicted by a federal grand jury in January of 2022 and pleaded guilty in September of 2022.  The conviction stemmed from incidents between March 16th and April 29th of 2021, when Thames intentionally used his cell phone to take sexually explicit photographs and videos of a minor female under the age of twelve, and saved them to his Snapchat Memories account. 

The case was investigated by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the FBI.  It was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May of 2006 by the Department of Justice.  

Thames was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.  


January 17, 2023