ST. LOUIS – On Monday, a St. Louis County man admitted in federal court to possessing child pornography and using a fake social media account to bait individuals into sending him sexually explicit videos and images.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Christopher Gruebbel was sentenced in 2013 to four years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to child porn possession. Upon his release, Gruebbel was placed on supervised release for the remainder of his life.
In 2021, Gruebbel’s probation officer reported on several occasions that he could not find Gruebbel at his court-approved residence. The officer later learned Gruebbel had been evicted and was living with his mother without permission.
Probation officers learned Gruebbel had possession of a laptop, cellphone, an iPad, and an iPod. Law enforcement inspected those devices and discovered he’d set up multiple fake social media accounts and was posing as a young female to trick people into sending him nude pictures and videos of themselves.
The plea agreement also states Gruebbel was involved in online forums devoted to baiting others.
Authorities found 50 images and 14 videos containing child porn on the iPad. His other electronic devices contained 251 images and 117 videos showing exploitative or suspected child porn.
Gruebbel, now 37, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. He’ll be sentenced on May 16. He faces between 10 and 20 years in federal prison, as well as a $250,000 fine.