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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


APRIL 18, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


FORMER NORTHLAND EMT PLEADS GUILTY

TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former North Kansas City Fire Department emergency medical technician pleaded guilty in federal court today to producing child pornography, distributing child pornography over the Internet and possessing child pornography.


             Toby L. Rice, 34, of Blue Springs, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs this afternoon to the three charges contained in a Sept. 7, 2007, federal indictment. Rice has been in federal custody since his arrest and will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until his sentencing hearing.


             Rice admitted that he used a minor – who has been identified as a 6-year-old girl who had been entrusted to his care at his home – to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography around April 1, 2007. Rice also admitted that he distributed child pornography between April 1 and Aug. 10, 2007, and possessed child pornography on Aug. 24, 2007.


             Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Rice's residence and recovered a Kodak digital camera, which had multiple images of the 6-year-old girl.


             By pleading guilty today, Rice also agreed to forfeit to the government a computer and the digital camera that were used to commit the offense.


            Under federal statutes, Rice could be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 60 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $750,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Fincham. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Blue Springs, Mo., Police Department.


Project Safe Childhood

            This case is being brought as part of 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