project safe childhood
independence man sentenced to 10 years for child porn
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for possessing child pornography.
Michael G. Larson, 36, of Independence, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to 10 years in federal prison without parole, which is the maximum statutory penalty for the offense.
On March 30, 2012, Larson pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography that he downloaded over the Internet. Larson was initially identified in two separate federal investigations that were conducted within days of one another.
FBI agents in Springfield, Ill., were conducting an undercover investigation into child pornography being shared through a peer-to-peer file-sharing network on Oct. 8, 2009. Agents determined that 93 files of suspected child pornography were being shared by Larson’s computer; the agents selected 31 files to download and determined that all of them contained child pornography. A separate undercover investigation was conducted by FBI agents in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Oct. 12, 2009. Agents involved in that investigation determined that 76 files of suspected child pornography were available to download from Larson’s computer; the agents selected nine files to download and determined that eight of the files contained child pornography.
Federal agents executed a search warrant at Larson’s residence and seized three computers. Approximately 138 images of child pornography, including two images of child bondage, were located in a folder that made them available to share online. One partially downloaded movie file was also found on Larson’s computer.
In August 2010, Larson’s home was foreclosed on and he was forced to vacate the residence in March 2011. On June 29, 2011, the Independence Police Department was contacted by the new home owner, who had found 31 CDs in the chimney flue. Police officers determined that those CDs belonged to Larson, and that they contained 445 images of child pornography, including images of bondage.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa A. Moore. It was investigated by the FBI and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.
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."