News and Press Releases

THOMAS MORGAN “SONDANCE THE CLOWN” PLEADS GUILTY TO ONE COUNT OF RECEIPT OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2013

 






Fort Smith, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Thomas Harold Morgan, 48, of Fort Smith, pleaded guilty today to one count of receipt of child pornography. The plea took place before the Honorable P.K. Holmes III in United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith. Morgan has been in custody since his arraignment and will remain in custody pending sentencing.

U. S. Attorney Eldridge stated, “To victimize innocent children is both horrendous and inexcusable and is especially disturbing considering that this individual sought situations in which he could be around kids by posing as a clown. Perpetrators of child pornography crimes put our society and our kids at risk. We will do everything in our power to pursue and prosecute those who commit crimes against innocent children.”

According to court records, in May 2012, law enforcement became aware of an IP address downloading child pornography. The IP address was determined to be registered to Thomas Morgan in Fort Smith, Arkansas. On June 20, 2012, a federal search warrant was executed on his residence, and Morgan’s desktop computer and other digital media were seized as evidence. A subsequent forensic examination on the seized evidence revealed that he used an internet based peer to peer program on his computer to download an image of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violations. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Court may consider all of the Defendant’s conduct charged in the indictment - in determining the Defendant’s sentence. The sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases will be less than the maximum. In this case, Morgan faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. He also faces supervised release of five years to life after release from prison and will have to register as a sex offender.

This case is being investigated by Fort Smith Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Candace Taylor is prosecuting this case for the United States.

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The Office of U.S. Attorney
Conner Eldridge
 
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