Special to SEGAZINE
Steve Lavon Biggins, 33, of Savannah, Georgia, was convicted Tuesday by a federal jury after a 2-day trial before U. S. District Court Judge B. Avant Edenfield for Transporting a Minor with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct, Production of Child Pornography, and Transportation of Child Pornography.
United States Attorney Edward Tarver said, “This defendant misrepresented his identity and age through his conversations with a girl he met online in order to gain her trust. He developed a relationship with her, transported her across the southeast in a tractor trailer, engaged in illegal sex acts, and took photographs of that activity in violation of numerous federal laws. These acts are deplorable, and the U. S. Attorney’s Office aggressively prosecutes individuals, like this defendant, who are involved in such predatory acts towards our children. Biggins’ arrest rescued one victim, and his conviction will help protect other children from such future predatory acts.”
Ricky Maxwell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “This conviction brings with it a strong reminder that there are dangerous individuals out there that will exploit and harm our children. The FBI is not only pleased with the jury’s verdict but also with the combined law enforcement response in getting a dangerous individual such as Mr. Biggins off of our streets.”
Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Biggins, a 33-year-old truck driver posing as a man in his twenties named “Rodney,” engaged in text and telephone communications with a girl under the age of 16 with whom he initiated contact through the mobile application “Tagged.com.” After developing an in-person relationship with the victim, and without the knowledge of the girl’s parents, in July 2013, Biggins took the child on short-haul trips that spanned seven days, and included travel to South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina, before returning to Georgia. While on the trip he engaged in sexual conduct that violated the laws of each state he entered, and photographed the same. Upon his return trip through Millen, Georgia, Biggins was stopped and immediately arrested by law enforcement officers. He has remained in custody since that time.
The arrest in this case was accomplished through the combined efforts of Millen Police Department, Jenkins County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Tarver commented that this case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, which is a nationwide U. S. Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.
Biggins faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison (and a maximum of life), for the Transportation