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ava man sentenced for child porn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an Ava, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for receiving child pornography over the Internet.

David Hicks, 38, of Ava, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to five years in federal prison without parole.

On Feb. 8, 2012, Hicks pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography over the Internet. Co-defendant Ronnie Landsdown, 28, of Ava, was convicted of the same offense by a federal trial jury and awaits sentencing.

Investigators with the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force identified a computer at the residence shared by Hicks and Landsdown and their girlfriends, which was using a peer-to-peer file-sharing program to receive and distribute child pornography. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant and seized two computers – a desktop computer that belonged to Landsdown and a laptop computer that belonged to Hicks. Both computers contained child pornography, including images of minors younger than 12 years old. Hicks, who was at the residence during the search, admitted to officers that he downloaded child pornography to his laptop computer on multiple occasions using a file-sharing program.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.

Project Safe Childhood

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

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