News and Press Releases

project safe childhood

convicted sex offender pleads guilty to child porn,
faces 10 years in prison

January 23, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a sex offender from Joplin, Mo., pleaded guilty in federal court today to possessing child pornography.

David Wayne Morgan, 56, of Joplin, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to possessing child pornography. Morgan, a registered sex offender, was convicted of statutory sodomy with a 4-year-old victim in 1997.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Morgan will be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole.

On May 1, 2012, members of the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force, in conjunction with other state and federal law enforcement agencies, conducted a sexual offender registration compliance check. Law enforcement officers contacted Morgan at his residence. Morgan led the investigators into his home and immediately began disconnecting various devices from his computer system. Morgan allowed officers to search his computer and storage devices.  Investigators found multiple images of child pornography on the computer.

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 James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force.

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 . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

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