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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


JULY 26, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


REPUBLIC MAN INDICTED FOR ATTEMPTING

TO ENTICE A MINOR FOR SEX,

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, OBSCENITY


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Republic, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for attempting to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity, for receiving child pornography and for attempting to send obscene webcam images over the Internet.


             Darwin Joe Graham, 30, of Republic, was charged in a seven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield.


             The federal indictment alleges that, on three separate occasions between Nov. 30, 2006, and March 7, 2007, Graham used the Internet to attempt to entice a female under the age of 16 to engage in illegal sexual activity. Graham allegedly used the Internet to attempt to transfer an obscene image recorded by a webcam to the minor female on two occasions, on Nov. 30 and Dec. 21, 2006.


             The federal indictment also alleges that Graham received computer files containing child pornography between May 2006 and March 15, 2007, and that he attempted to receive a videotape containing child pornography between March 7 and 15, 2007.


             Today’s indictment contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Graham to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including a laptop computer and a webcam.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in the indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rose A. Barber. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Republic, Mo., Police Department.


Project Safe Childhood

            This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html