News and Press Releases


March 13, 2014


Fort Smith, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Thomas Harold Morgan, of Fort Smith, was sentenced today to 87 months in prison and ten years of supervised release on one count of receipt of child pornography. Morgan was professionally known in the River Valley as “Sondance the Clown”. The Honorable P.K. Holmes III in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith presided over the sentencing.

U. S. Attorney Eldridge stated, “To victimize innocent children is both horrendous and inexcusable and is especially disturbing considering that this individual sought opportunities in which he could be around kids by posing as a clown. This defendant has now been brought to justice. We will continue to do everything in our power to pursue and prosecute those who commit crimes against innocent children and especially those who also seek out children.”

“The possession, production, and distribution of child pornography are unspeakable crimes which victimize children over and over” stated Detective Michael Warren with the Fort Smith Police Department Cyber Crimes Unit. “We will continue to search out the criminals who participate in this type of activity working with other local, state, and federal agencies. The State and United States Attorneys in this area have a genuine concern for the welfare of children, making them priceless team members in combating these types of criminal activities.”

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.

This case was investigated by Fort Smith Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Candace Taylor prosecuted this case for the United States.

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