News and Press Releases

Former police officer pleads guilty to producing child porn, faces at least 15 years in prison

September 2, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Noel, Mo., police officer pleaded guilty in federal court today to sexually exploiting a child and to possessing child pornography.

Casey Nanez, 28, of Noel, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England to the charges contained in a Nov. 17, 2009, federal indictment. Nanez was formerly a police officer for the city of Noel.

According to today’s plea agreement, the McDonald County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department seized Nanez’s computer during an investigation into allegations that he had unlawful sexual contact with one or more minors. An officer with the Joplin, Mo., Police Department conducted forensic examination of the computer and located several photographs of minors, including a set of photographs that depicted a minor engaged in sexual activity with an adult. Nanez admitted that he took those photographs and downloaded them to his computer.

Under federal statutes, Nanez is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000 and an order of restitution. 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 McDonald County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

(Download Plea Agreement)

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