News and Press Releases

project Safe Childhood

west plains man pleads guilty to receiving child porn
over the internet

January 17, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a West Plains, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to receiving child pornography over the Internet and possessing child pornography.

Scott Allen Johnson, 26, of West Plains, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to the charges contained in an Aug. 29, 2012 federal indictment.

An officer with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force identified Johnson’s computer as sharing images of child pornography on a peer-to-peer file-sharing network on Dec. 30, 2011. The officer connected with Johnson’s computer on the network again on Jan. 9, 2012 and was able to determine that he had 322 files available for sharing, of which 139 were identified as known files depicting child sexual abuse. Officers executed a search warrant at Johnson’s residence on Feb. 9, 2012 and seized a laptop computer, four computer towers and 42 optical media disks.

Investigators found approximately 219 images and 46 movie files of child pornography on the laptop computer. The ages of the child victims ranged from 2 to 12, and the images depicted scenes of sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, child bondage, bestiality and nudity. 

Under federal statutes, Johnson is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. Johnson must also forfeit the computer used to distribute and possess child pornography. A 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 Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force (SWMCCTF), the Cassville, Mo., Police Department and the Howell County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

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