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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BETH PHILLIPS


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


AUGUST 30, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


JASPER MAN SENTENCED FOR CHILD PORN


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Jasper, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for possessing and distributing child pornography over the Internet.


            Donald Lee Zaerr, 59, of Jasper, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010, to 12 years and seven months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Zaerr to forfeit to the government 12 computers, four thumb drives and 28 CDR disks, all of which were used to commit the offenses.


            Zaerr pleaded guilty on Dec. 21, 2009. Zaerr admitted that he distributed at least four images of child pornography over the Internet on Oct. 7, 2009. Zaerr also admitted that he was in possession of child pornography on Nov. 5, 2009.


            Federal agents and members of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force executed a state search warrant at Zaerr’s residence on Nov. 5, 2009. Officers discovered images of child pornography on Zaerr’s computer, which he had posted on the Internet using file-sharing software.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Joplin, Mo., Police 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.justice.gov/usao/mow/index.html