Harford County Felon Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Child to Produce Child Pornography and to Illegal Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Baltimore, Maryland – Travis Joseph Crawford, age 34, of Edgewood, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to sexual exploitation of a child to produce child pornography and to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. 

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler; and Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

According to Crawford’s plea agreement and other court documents, on November 30, 2020, Harford County Sheriff’s deputies went to Crawford’s residence, based on a warrant issued for Crawford by Maryland State Police for firearm related offenses.  When the officers arrived, they heard Crawford call, “Where’s my gun?”  Crawford was arrested and law enforcement recovered an Apple iPhone 7, an Apple Watch, and a fully-loaded .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol. 

A search warrant subsequently executed on Crawford’s phone revealed three sexually explicit videos involving Jane Doe, all of which were recorded without her knowledge or permission.  Specifically, on two occasions in July 2020, when Jane Doe was 12 years old, Crawford produced videos of Crawford’s hand touching Jane Doe’s buttocks and genitals over her shorts while Jane Doe slept.  On November 29, 2020, when Jane Doe was 13 years old, Crawford hid his iPhone under the sink in a bathroom used by Jane Doe and recorded a video of Jane Doe in the bathroom, undressing and getting into and out of the shower.   

Crawford was previously convicted of a felony and therefore was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

As a result of his guilty plea, upon his release from prison, Crawford will also be required to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). 

Crawford and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Crawford will be sentenced to at least 15 years, but no more than 22 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III has scheduled Crawford’s sentencing hearing for July 27, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.  Crawford remains detained.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.         

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended HSI, ATF, the Maryland State Police, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow, who is prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-childhood and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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