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project safe childhood

jury convicts ava man of child porn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an Ava, Mo., man has been convicted in federal court of receiving child pornography.

Ronnie Landsdown, 28, of Ava, was convicted by a federal trial jury on Tuesday, July 10, 2012, of receiving child pornography between April 1 and July 22, 2010.

According to evidence introduced during the trial, investigators with the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force identified a computer at Landsdown’s residence that 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 co-defendant David Hicks, 38. Landsdown and Hicks shared the residence with their girlfriends. 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.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., deliberated for an hour before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr, ending a trial that began Monday, July 9, 2012.

Hicks pleaded guilty to the same charge on Feb. 8, 2012. Hicks, who remains in federal custody, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 27, 2012.

Under federal statutes, Landsdown and Hicks are each subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. Landsdown’s 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 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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