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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


MATT J. WHITWORTH


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


NOVEMBER 17, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


BRANSON MAN INDICTED FOR

PRODUCING CHILD PORN


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Branson, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges related to producing and distributing child pornography.


            Ronald Darling, 45, of Branson, was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield.


            Today’s indictment alleges that Darling used a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography between Dec. 3, 2003, and Oct. 27, 2006. The indictment also charges Darling with receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet and with being in possession of child pornography during that time.


            The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Darling to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including two digital cameras, a desktop computer, a laptop computer, an external hard drive, a scanner and a printer.


            Whitworth cautioned that the charges contained in this 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 James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Taney County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.



Project Safe Childhood

            This 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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 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

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