The arrest stems from a five-count indictment charging Burkett in two counts with knowingly using, enticing, and coercing minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct, having reason to know that it would be transported in interstate and foreign commerce. Burkett is also charged in three separate counts with knowingly receiving, distributing, and possessing child pornography. The indictment alleges that the illegal conduct took place in 2014 and 2015.
Following the arrest, an initial appearance was held in U.S. District Court in Knoxville before the Honorable C. Clifford Shirley, Jr., U.S. Magistrate Judge, at which the indictment was unsealed and Burkett was apprised of the charges. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was held in federal custody pending a detention hearing set for 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 9, 2015.
The details of the charges are outlined in the indictment which is filed as a public record in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville.
This investigation was conducted by the Knoxville Police Department ICAC. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Morris represents the United States.
Members of the public are reminded that these are only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until his or her guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Press release from the United States Attorney’s Office