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Vermontville man pleads guilty to exploiting children

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced last Friday, August 21, that Dustyn Wayne Olmstead, 31, of Vermontville (Eaton County), pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children, and distributing child pornography. Sentencing before Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker will be on December 1, 2020. At sentencing, Olmstead will face a mandatory minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment and a combined maximum of 50 years’ imprisonment, restitution, fines, and other penalties.

Olmstead pleaded guilty to using text-messaging services to communicate with multiple minors, including a 13-year-old girl from Allegan County and a 14-year-old girl from Ottawa County. Olmstead manipulated one girl into sending him naked pictures of herself and he tried to get the other to do the same. As part of the process to desensitize the girls to sexual material, Olmstead sent a video of a girl, approximately 9 years old, engaging in a sex act with an adult male. Olmstead communicated with numerous individuals he believed to be children. Persons who believe that they or someone they know may have been a victim of Olmstead’s should call the FBI at (616) 456-5489.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, tribal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case is being investigated by the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI working together as part of the West Michigan Based Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force (WEBCHEX) and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Mekaru.

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