A Prince George's County, Md., school bus driver is under arrest on charges of producing child pornography.
Smallwood was arrested Friday, but police said the investigation began March 15, when Smallwood allegedly left a camera memory card on the counter of a 7-Eleven on Coventry Way in Clinton. According to court documents, another customer found the microSD card and took it home. The customer viewed the contents of the card and discovered 10 to 15 videos of an adult male engaging in sexually explicit conduct with a little boy.
He contacted Prince George's County Police, who teamed with investigators from the Justice Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify the victim and suspect.
"An abused child was promptly identified and a suspect was arrested thanks to a vigilant citizen and remarkable detective work by police and federal agents," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
A 7-year-old boy taped on cell phone camera described Smallwood as his night bus driver and someone who took him to church sometimes, according to court documents.
On Friday, Smallwood was arrested by ICE agents at the Brandywine bus depot. At the time, Smallwood was employed as a Prince George’s County school bus driver, driving students on six routes to and from high schools, middle schools and elementary schools.
LaShelle Nickens, of the James Ryder Randall Elementary School PTA, said she was disappointed to learn from the media rather than the school district that a child porn suspect was a bus driver for her child's school.
Prince George's County Public Schools is conducting a full investigation and said that Smallwood did pass a background check before he was hired in 2005. The school system is preparing a letter describing the situation to send home to parents.
"Child predators targeting our most vulnerable members of society is a serious matter and even more disturbing when it involves a school bus driver,” said Special Agent in Charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Baltimore William Winter.
Smallwood faces 30-years in prison if convicted, followed by supervised release for life.
Smallwood had his initial appearance today in federal court in Greenbelt and is detained pending his detention hearing Wednesday at 4 p.m.