A San Carlos Park man awaiting a state trial for alleged child molestation is now facing federal child pornography charges.
U.S. Marshals nabbed Joseph Lewis Smith, 39, of 18562 Zinnia Road, on Friday, following a Wednesday indictment. Smith is charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of receiving images from across state lines.
"I can tell you it's some of the worst child pornography I've ever heard of," Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Malloy said of the case.
At the time of his arrest, Smith was awaiting trial in state court on a felony molestation charge from February. Accused of molesting a girl in his care under the age of 12, he was released on bond the day after his arrest.
With Friday's arrest, Smith is now back in jail and scheduled for arraignment before a federal judge on Wednesday. A detention hearing at the same time will determine whether he stays in jail or is released.
Malloy said Lee County deputies notified FBI agents about the images during the Sheriff's Office investigation. Deputies searched Smith's house at one point, according to the arrest report from February.
According to his federal indictment, Smith received the images from as far back as January 2005. Malloy said they were especially graphic and involved young children.
"Sometimes people think this could be a mistake or a pop-up," he said. "These are thousands of images."
The indictment calls for the forfeiture of two computers and a USB drive at Smith's home.
Smith's February arrest followed accusations by the child, who was occasionally placed in Smith's care by her mother. The child told investigators that Smith had her undress to her underware, and that he would massage and touch her buttocks and vagina with his hands and with a vibrator.
As part of Smith's release, he was told to have no contact with the victim, through e-mail or texting, and he wasn't allowed within 500 feet of the child's house. He also surrendered his passport.
If convicted of the state charge, Smith faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. The two federal counts carry a maximum 15 years in federal prison.