OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
APRIL 8, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD
KC MAN INDICTED FOR DRUGGING CHILDREN,
PRODUCING CHILD PORN
SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT ADDS CHARGES
RELATED TO 13 VICTIMS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Kansas City, Mo., man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for using 13 child victims to produce child pornography and for drugging some of the victims with sleeping pills.
James Phillip “Phil” Edwards, 60, of Kansas City, was charged in a 21-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City. The indictment replaces an Oct. 21, 2009, federal indictment. Edwards remains in federal custody.
The superseding indictment alleges that, in separate instances between July 21, 2001, and June 23, 2005, Edwards used 13 minors to produce (in one count, attempt to produce) child pornography. Edwards is also charged with five counts of drugging some of the minor victims with the prescription sleep medication Ambien without their knowledge in order to facilitate the alleged crimes.
According to a detention motion previously filed by the government, Edwards hid the drug in soda and ice cream that he served to his victims. After the victims were unconscious, the motion says, Edwards sexually abused them and used a video camera to record the abuse.
Edwards is also charged with criminal activity unrelated to the 13 identified victims. The indictment charges Edwards with one count each of advertising child pornography over the Internet, attempting to distribute child pornography over the Internet and possessing child pornography.
The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Edwards to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including multiple hard drives and video tapes that were seized by law enforcement on Oct. 14, 2009, as well as any storage media that contains child pornography.
Phillips 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 Katharine Fincham. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe ChildhoodThis 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.
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