In October 2009, Special Agents Catherine Koontz and James Lewis of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Miami received a lead on an individual who was sharing child pornography. Through the suspect's username, the agents found an Internet account registered to a business in Oakland Park, FL. After conducting surveillance and obtaining a federal search warrant, Koontz and Lewis identified Scott Smith as the business owner. A forensic preview of a laptop computer found on the premises revealed thousands of images of child pornography. Smith admitted that the laptop was his and to trading child pornography for 2 years. This admission sparked an investigation of whether Smith had sexually abused any children.
Through extensive interviews, execution of three federal search warrants, cooperation with federal and local law enforcement agencies in Florida and Wisconsin, and coordination with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Department of Justice's Office of Victim Affairs, Koontz and Lewis identified six children who Smith had abused. Koontz and Lewis quickly gained the trust of the victims and interviewed them. The victims revealed how Smith approached and enticed them, when and where Smith sexually assaulted them, and the identities of other victims. Two victims also revealed that Smith had recorded their abuse. During the investigation, Koontz and Lewis discovered a rented storage space in Oakland Park that was furnished like an apartment with a couch, plasma television, and gaming systems. Smith had used the space to sexually abuse his victims.