News and Press Releases


March 29, 2013


Fayetteville, Arkansas - United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Conner Eldridge announced that Cody Malone, age 26 of Lowell, and Byron Lara, age 24 of Springdale, were sentenced today on charges of Production of Child Pornography and Receipt of Child Pornography, respectively. Malone was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment, 15 years of supervised release, and a $25,000 fine. Lara was sentenced to 151 months imprisonment, 5 years of supervised release, and a $7,500 fine. United States District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren presided over the sentencing in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

United States Attorney Eldridge commented, “Crimes against children, including child pornography offenses, remain among the highest priorities for my office. As prosecutors and law enforcement, we will continue to aggressively prosecute those who pose a threat to our children.”

According to documents filed in Cody Malone’s case, the Springdale Police Department was contacted by concerned parents of two minor females, both 14-years-old, that Malone had solicited the minors for nude pictures and sexual acts. On June 26, 2012, Cody Malone was arrested by the Springdale Police Department for sexually soliciting minors online. Upon being arrested, Detectives with the Springdale Police Department discovered a video of Malone having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old female on his cellular phone. Malone ultimately confessed to the charged conduct. On October 26, 2012, Malone pleaded guilty to federal charges of Producing Child Pornography. At the sentencing hearing, the Government presented Federal District Court Judge Hendren with additional evidence that, at the time of his arrest, Malone had on his computer a real-time video-recording session between him and an approximately 11-13 year-old female engaging in sexual conduct.

According to documents filed in Byron Lara’s case, from August to November of 2011, the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce conducted an investigation into the trafficking of child pornography over the internet in Northwest Arkansas area. During the course of this investigation, Lara was identified as a possible suspect. Consequently, the Springdale Police Department sought and executed a search warrant at Lara’s residence. At that time, law enforcement confiscated a computer and multiple digital storage devices. A subsequent forensic examination of those items revealed over 200 videos of minors engaged in sexual conduct. Lara was subsequently interviewed by the Springdale Police Department and admitted to searching for and downloading child pornography from the internet. On September 5, 2012, Lara pleaded guilty to federal receipt of child-pornography charges.

These cases were investigated by the Springdale Police Department, Fayetteville Police Department, Little Flock Police Department, and Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted the cases for the United States.

The 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 their Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Sections (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

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